Race Preview: 2nd Annual Albany Half Marathon

The second annual Albany Half Marathon will take place on Saturday, August 16th, 2014. The race will start and finish at Timber Linn Park in Albany, Oregon, roughly one mile east of I-5 adjacent to the Linn County Fairgrounds. This mostly flat race is perfect for fast and slow runners alike, and all proceeds benefit local schools. 

The course is mostly flat, except for a slight hill at mile 6. The farmland will allow for beautiful views of the Cascades. Runners and walkers of all speeds are welcome, and so are strollers and dogs. Based on last year’s feedback, the organizers promise a well-run event with added water, Gu, Gatorade, porta-potties, and mile markers.

Matt ran this race in 2013. Here are some snippets from that review:

The race began at Timber-Linn Memorial Park, a large area (with TONS of parking) on the east side of I-5 in Albany.
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After the first 45 seconds or so, we veered off into some residential streets. We were greeted with local residents holding up signs (I was partial to the “Puke & Rally” posterboard) and offering encouragement to all that passed. After about mile 2, we hit the long Knox Butte Rd for the next 3 miles. I personally love long stretches of straight roads. It gives me an opportunity to just take in the surrounding environment and lose myself in the run. The backdrop of the race reminded me of the Cascade Half Marathon (sans the freezing temperatures) with farmland in all directions.
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At mile 5, runners veered north on Lickskillet Rd (great name!) before heading back towards town via Kamph Road. There was a minor hill right around mile 8, but seemed to come and go quickly. Another mini climb around mile 10 gave way to a rolling downhill and a 2 mile stretch to the finish.
There were some GREAT things about the race as a whole. First of all, they claimed they would have aid stations every 2 miles and delivered on this promise. I have seen races say they are going to have aid stations, but come race day, they just weren’t there. There was water every 2 miles, and Gu at miles 4 and 8. Also, the volunteers were wonderful. From experience, sometime the high-school generation of volunteers are more interested in their phones than guiding runners in the righ direction. There was not one volunteer- not a single one – who did not legitimetely cheer and offer encouragement. That was very impressive.
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This race located in the mid-valley should be considered by runners from Portland to Eugene. The relatively small field of around 300 runners give it an intimate atmosphere, and at $55 for registration you really can’t go wrong.

Albany Half Marathon Details:

When: Saturday, August 16th, 8am
Where: Timber Linn Park, Albany, OR
Registration: Online here or print and mail entry form
Registration cost: $55 by August 14th, $65 Day-of-race
Registration includes: Chip timed race (Eclectic Edge), finisher shirt and medal, water and Gu on the course, food and entertainment after the race.

Race day schedule:
5:30 am – Parking lot is open and race day registration will begin
6:00 am – Race packets will be available for pickup, vendors arrive
7:00 am – Walkers start
8:00 am – Runners start
10:30 am – Awards

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