Race Preview: 2015 WinterFest Royal Poker Run 10k and 5k in Bend

What do you think of when you let your mind drift to the great city of Bend? Is it the breweries? The outdoor activities? The Winter fun? Well, combine all those together and you get the Bend WinterFest, a 3-day extravaganza of all things Bend.

Lay it Out Events puts on one heck of a party, both in the sense of community events and running races. WinterFest will feature winter sports demonstrations and contests, ice sculpting, music (by 90’s band Filter!), beer and wine, and running. That is a heck of a weekend!

The WinterFest Royal Poker Run isn’t your ordinary road race though – it has its own little unique Bend twist. From the race website:

Runners will pick up playing cards along the race route and those with the best and worst 5-card poker hands win! You can’t win if you don’t play, so put on your best poker face and get out here!

The course will follow the many paved paths and well-groomed trails near the Old Mill area and along the banks of Deschutes River, with a mixture of paved paths and groomed trails. This is one of my favorite areas to run, and I put in numerous miles this year on these same paths when I was travelling.

Not only will you complete a fun run, but entry includes entry into all three days of the WinterFest and a free beverage at the post-race jam. Costumes are encouraged, but not required.

There will also be a kid’s event on February 14th at 1pm, the Little Snowflake Dash. This short run begins  with a gift of jewels and finishes off with a nice warm cup of hot chocolate (can I enter?). The 2015 beneficiary will be Saving Grace, which provides “comprehensive family violence and sexual assault services and promotes the value of living life free from violence.”

Follow the Bend WinterFest on Facebook to stay up to date on all the awesomeness.

WinterFest Royal Poker Run 10k and 5k (Bend)

When: Sunday, February 15 at Noon
Where: Les Schwab Amphitheater (344 SW Shevlin-Hixon Drive)
Register: Online here; $30 for 5k and $35 for 10k; $11 for kid’s race

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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