Guest Blogger preview: Columbia River Power Marathon

This recap was submitted by Run Oregon reader Chere Nicholas. Feel free to Submit a Guest Post in the “Contact Us” tab if you want to get involved.

If you’ve been looking for a smaller race along the Columbia River, then the Columbia Power Marathon (and other distances) is definitely for you! With last year’s registration around 300 runners, you’ll be able to enjoy the scenic view of the run without the overcrowding on the pavement that larger races often supply. Not to mention that as a smaller race, SOME of us who have always wanted to place in the top 3 (and never came close thanks to the THOUSANDS of professional runners who seem to always leave us in the dust at larger races) now have a great shot! I’m not complaining about the supersonic runners we all see at the front of each race…they’re GREAT inspiration! Still…who of us doesn’t covet our own tiny little trophy to place on our shelf where all of our friends can see? Just sayin…

​If the appeal of a smaller race doesn’t entice you, then how about the beautiful scenery! Regardless of the distance you chose to race in, you will be bombarded by the decadence of greenery near the Columbia River, while feasting your eyes across the dry hills cascading in the landscape of this Eastern Oregon view. According to the race website, “From the start, participants descend to the waterfront and traverse the Columbia River to Washington via McNary Dam”. What better way to get your legs warmed up than to run across a Dam?!

​Not sure this race will have your favorite distance available? Have no fear! This race offers an 8K walk/run, half marathon walk/run, marathon, 50K, AND a marathon relay. Regardless of your age or ability, this race has it! They’ve also managed to fully cover the most essential needs every runner has…hydration and restrooms! Each of their 11 total aid stations will be stocked to the brim with water, Gatorade, as well as Powerbar energy gels. For those runners going the distance, there’s even potatoes and salt at miles 16 and 18 to help you finish strong. As for the restrooms, there are 6 along the complete course, so waiting in line anxiously while the clock ticks away shouldn’t be an issue.

If you’re interested in putting together a team to attempt the marathon relay, here are some helpful tidbits for you to mull over with your friends. There are a total of 8 legs with distances ranging from 1.6 miles to 5 miles. Half of the relay surfaces will be over asphalt or pavement, while the other half will include gravel and dirt roads. There IS a big hill mentioned in the relay notes at leg #7, but to counterbalance the agony of being “stuck” with this leg, it’s only 1.6 miles.

​Overall, this race is looking like a fun, scenic adventure in one of Oregon’s most historic towns. Lodging is available, with several hotels listed on the race website. For more info on the area of Umatilla, you can reach out to the Hermiston Chamber of Commerce PO Box 185 Hermiston, Or. 97838 P: 541-567-6151. With questions regarding the Columbia River Power Marathon itself, you can either check out their website at or email the directors at .

When: Sept. 20, 2014
Time: All distances start at 8am
Distances: Full, Half, 8k, Relay, Ultra
Cost: Online here; Through Aug. 31st: 50k- $60, Marathon- $60, Half- $45, 8k- $25, Relay- $25; Tshirts can be purchased for an extra $20

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