If you are looking for the most scenic half marathon in Oregon – this is it! I will admit, as a Canby resident and one of the race organizers I am a bit biased, but let me convince you. Starting on the outskirts of Canby, this half marathon* starts out fast with a downhill right at the beginning. You’ll start out running through a residential area, but quickly be taken out of the city when you turn onto the old Logging Road, which is now a paved trail for pedestrians and bikes only. This turn will take you alongside of a golf course and then engulf you in a shady treed area, which is my favorite section of the trail – especially on a hot summer day. If you watch closely, you’ll catch glimpses of the river along your right. The trail ends at the river and you’ll get to enjoy a brief view as you take the turn-around and make your way back up the trail. And, yes, I did say “up.” While this half marathon is mostly flat, the turn-around involves a short uphill climb followed by a slight incline as you make your way back to the road. Back into the quiet residential area for awhile, you’ll gradually make your way to the most beautiful part of this course – The Swan Island Dahlia Fields. Coinciding with The Dahlia Festival, you will run through the dahlias in full bloom. The variety of color, shapes, and sizes will amaze you as you make your way right through the middle of one of the fields. You’ll enjoy the color for awhile, as there are several dahlia fields along the way, before you head back into the residential area again. Next you’ll explore the rest of the old Logging Road with a turn to the right. Keep your eyes open for the carved wooden bear that someone has situated alongside the trail. You’ll encounter another brief hill as you cross over Highway 99E from above. You’ll enjoy this traffic-free trail for about 2 miles before you head out into rural Canby. Here is where you’ll see everything from strawberry fields to wheat fields to nursery stock and farm animals. This is what I love about running in Canby. One minute you’re in the city and the next minute you’re in the country. However, you do need to be cautious out here, as the roads are not closed and many of these country roads have little to no shoulder. If you are running with friends, make sure to run single file in this area and stay aware of traffic (and farm equipment.) There are some rolling hills along here, so be prepared.
Soon you’ll make your way to the finish, which just like the start is all downhill! How many races have you run that start and finish with a downhill? Continue to be aware of potential traffic as you come flying downhill to the finish. Because you will be flying down to the finish – trust me!
All finishers will receive a fresh cut dahlia from Swan Island Dahlias, a medal, and enjoy a variety of post-race snacks and booths. After the race there are tons of events going on in Canby, as the Canby Dahlia Run coincides with Canby’s Big Weekend. There is a car show, The Dahlia Festival, music, food, and many more events in town all weekend. So, what are you waiting for? Get registered and start your training!
*This race also includes a 10K. 10K participants will enjoy the old Logging Road and rural Canby, but will not get to run through the dahlia fields due to the distance.
Canby Dahlia Run Details
Date: Saturday, August 23, 2014
Time: 7:00 A.M.
Location: 2350 SE Territorial Rd, Canby OR (campus of New Life Foursquare Church)
Registration Fees: Thru May 31 ~ 10K $35, Half $45 June 1 – Aug 20 ~ 10K $40, Half $50
Day of Race ~ 10K $45, Half $60
Website/Registration: Click Here