Race Preview: Grants Pass Half Marathon, 10k, and 5k

Quick! What is the first thing you think about when you hear “Grants Pass”.  Maybe you think of rafting down the Rogue River or spelunking at the nearby Oregon Caves National Monument.  Perhaps you think of it as the birthplace of Dutch Bros Coffee.  Or maybe you solely associate it with being a distant 3-5 hour trek from the valley.  Well, if Competitive Athletics, theorganizers of the Grants Pass Half Marathon / 10k / 5k / and Kidz Costume Run (henceforth referred to as the Grants Pass Half), have anything to say about it, they hope to add “a great running city” to your list.On Saturday, October 25, the Grants Pass Half is being held in heart of the Rogue Valley. The City of Grants Pass has requested that the course be brought through the downtown area to promote local industry and have a rowdy crowd of Grants Pass-ians there to cheer runners on.  In taking an initial glance at the course, it appears that the half marathon will be a solid mixture of both urban and rural running, with what I envision to be great views along the river. I have ran parts of this route over the past 12 months as I travelled for work here on three seperate occasions. There are some good straightaways and the elevation wil remain relatively flat over the entire course. The shorter distance races will primarily take place in the downtown area, with a few turnarounds along the way. And your little tykes can participate in the festivities as well. They will receive a T-shirt, medal, and goody bag just for dressing up, running, and looking cute. Not a bad deal if you ask me.

The race organizers are also making a big push for catering to the runner and providing not only a fun course, but a great overall experience.  Apparently, they are known for their fantastic race packets and they hint that it is always a surprise until packet pick-up.  That alone has my tickled my interest.  Additionally, they are providing water stations at miles 2, 4, 6, 8, and 11 and have 3 restrooms along the way for all you small-bladdered folk.  I was also excited to be informed that showers will be available post-race at the YMCA for no fee. You just need to show your race bib and you are good to go.  This is a very nice gesture, as if you stayed overnight and had to check-out of your hotel prior to the race, your friends and family don’t have to deal with your smell all the way home.  Lucky them.

Sometimes the best runs are the ones that are completely foreign to what you are used to. You can run the Shamrock Run every year and always know what to expect.  In my experience, I have found that it is often those runs in new cities and places that make for the best memories.  So maybe give Grants Pass a shot.  Sure, their city motto may be “It’s the Climate” now, but perhaps it will soon be, “It’s the newest running capitol of Oregon”.

Grants Pass Half Marathon / 10k / 5k / Kidz Costume Run (Grants Pass)
When: Saturday, October 25, 2014
What time: 730a for Half Marathon walkers only; 8a for Kidz costume run; 830a for Half Marathon, 10k, and 5k runners
Where: Start and Finish lines at Reinhart Volunteer Park
Register: Mail-InOnline or in-person at Competitive Athletics until 10/28 at 430p. Competitive Athletics is located at 545 B NE “E” St., Grants Pass, OR 97526.
Race packet pick-up: Friday, October 24th from 12pm-6:30pm at Competitive Athletics.
Cost: $45 for half marathon, $35 for 10k, $20 for 5k, $7 for Kidz costume run; Add $5 per entry after October 20th. Proceeds will benefit local sports programs. **No day of race entries**



About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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