One of the defining traits to any race is location. This holds true even more for races 10 miles and longer, as the route and scenery will be enjoyed by the runners for a long period of time. Champoeg State Park is a great place to run, and the farm roads the route traverses in that area are beautiful as well. Some might find straight stretches a little boring, but the scenery is magnificent. It definitely beats the usual business/industrial location of many other halfs.
Following is a more detailed course run through. It is important to remember that participants of both distances start at the same time, and the shorter one shares most of the same course, so pacing with a stranger could be a mistake. It begins in the park and does a loop on the road and a paved trail. After returning close to the start area the half marathon continues on a sinuous paved path that has moderate elevation changes with the first actual hill near the end of it. Then it connects to a bumpy road with another hill. The rest of the route is on rural farm roads, with one more hill, and only a couple turns. At the turnaround, it returns the way it came, but doesn’t traverse the original loop, instead heading directly back to the start area. You can find maps of the courses here. As a competitive runner, I would not call this a ‘fast’ course, it would be a little more difficult to set a personal best here than the average route, but not impossible.
The schedule is fairly straightforward, with the race at 9 am. Registration opens two hours prior, and the gear check in opens at 8. The kids dirt dash starts at 11:45 and the awards follow at 12:30. Last year there was an issue with the awards and there was no actual ceremony. There is just over a month to go, as this year is falls on September 21st. There has been a couple price hikes as the event day approaches and you can register this month and pay $65 for the half or $40 for the 5 miler. They also have a program for kids 8-18 years of age where the entry fee is $18. Find out more or register here.
I recommend this event for a couple reasons. The location is amazing, the Oregon countryside is a great place to run. Energy Events is known for putting on professional, well organized races. The timing is perfect to find out what your fitness level is between the summer and fall racing seasons.
When: September 21st at 9a
Where: Champoeg Park
Register: Online here; $65 for half or $40 for 5-miler