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This Race is Like a Box of Chocolates… – A preview of the 2015 Cascade Half Marathon in Turner

2013 was my first attempt at the Cascade Half Marathon. I was injured, the weather was below freezing the entire time, and I STILL had a great time. 2014 saw cold, yet dry, temperatures and I highlighted my recommittment to running in my race recap. Annette also paid tribute to her friend Karen in her recap. Basically, this race has a sort of aura above it that seems to give runners a little extra motivation entering in the new year. It provides the perfect combination between a large number of registrants (near 1000 every year), yet still keeps its small town race feel.

The 16th Annual event is back in Turner on Saturday, January 18. The race starts and ends at Cascade Jr. High School with the route an out-and-back on quiet, rural paved roads. It is one of those races where you kind of lose yourself over the course due to the sheer remoteness of it. The race has some very long straight stretches with a few curves tossed in there as it meanders alongside the area farmland. There is also a 10k and a 2-miler which follow the same initial route. There will be water stations at miles 2 and 5 (plus 8 and 11 for the half). Last year’s event featured bright neon yellow long-sleeved tech shirts, though I haven’t seen the color scheme for this year. Medals will be given to half and 10k finishers.

Cascade Half Picture (1).JPG

Mick Evans, OregonPixels.com

While the weather can be chaotic in January, the school has men’s and women’s locker rooms will be open for changing, showering, and just keeping warm before and after the races. Make sure to follow the race on Facebook here. Here are some highlights from my 2013 experience:

Needless to say, this year’s event lived up to the re-hype I had assigned to it. It was my chance to enjoy and reconquer the race on my own terms. While the temperature was still cold (low-mid 30’s), I believe the 2013 was even colder.But the most important part was that it was dry. I will take cold and dry any day instead of trudging through a driving rain.

We quickly took off onto the extremely quiet paved country roads cutting through the rural farmland. The only unfortunate part was that, due to the thick fog, it limited the view of the surrounding countryside. While it did burn off (a little) during the last half of the course, it was still a hazy, gray atmosphere overall. That’s the thing about the Cascade Half – you just never know what weather you are gonna get!

The course itself was simple and straightforward. Active and cheerful volunteers (despite the temperature) were manning the “significant” turns and intersections with gusto and words of encouragement. Water station helpers were great, though some may argue that an extra water station may be warranted. The final straightaway in the parking lot of the high school left me feeling whole and complete and ready to tackle the rest of 2014 head on.

If you happen to be on the fence, don’t forget that this race was voted the Best 2012 Road Half Marathon  and Best 2013 January Race by you guys – our Run Oregon readers!

**Don’t forget to register by December 25th to get the $45 entry fee. Prices go up $15 after Christmas!!!**

Cascade Half Marathon (10k & 2-miler) – Salem

When: 9a (early start at 8a), 915a for 10k and 2-miler
Where: Cascade High School
Register: Online here or mail-in; Half and 10k $45 until 12/25, $60 afterwards, includes shirt; 2-miler $10; No DOR Registration

About Matt Rasmussen (1502 Articles)
Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching the Olympics, sampling craft beers, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010. Matt joined the Run Oregon team in October 2011, and since then he has spearheaded the blog’s efforts to cover product reviews, news about businesses related to running, and running events in the Willamette Valley.

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