Race recap: 2015 Polar Bear 5K/10K – Redmond


Lining up for the start

The Polar Bear Run in Redmond has certainly lived up to its name of appearing very “polar”, given the temps on race day in recent years. This year however, the temp at race time was 40 and the sun was out! 304 runners and walkers alike enjoyed near perfect conditions as they worked their way down onto the Dry Canyon Trail for either the 5K or 10K route, both of which are out and backs that start and end at St Thomas church in Redmond. Besides the good weather and the record turnout (nearly 40% increase from 2014), the church also hosts an expo that starts before the races and keeps going until after the awards ceremony.

Event coordinator Anna Contreras was all smiles in talking about the increase in numbers over last year as well as the obvious plus of the weather (last year at race time it was 8 degrees). Anna also mentioned that beyond the usual participants, a new category was introduced for police/fire teams of 5 each, with the winner receiving a “Tommy” bear that will stay with that organization until next year’s race. Sunriver Fire & Rescue and Deschutes County Sheriff represented and both teams were pushing each other prior to the start. It was fun to see them on the course being competitive and yet they all exchanged high fives at the end. When it was all over, Sunriver Fire walked away with the bear.


Runners making their way south on the Dry Canyon Trail.

Down on the course, I attempted to make small talk with several runners, but quickly determined that running backwards to chat was “showing off” (as I was told by a few male runners near me). Certainly, they were only joking, but to prevent any accidental tripping, I sped up a little and chatted with a couple of friends toward the front of the 10K group. As a side note, running and chatting is certainly OK, but doing so while racing might not always work depending on the competition. Some of these guys are pretty serious (and some are pretty good too!!).


Local favorite Brennan Noonan finishing the 10K in 2nd place overall.

The race benefits St. Thomas Academy, with every dollar raised going directly into the school. This year, a large matching donation from Coyote Rock Ranch allowed the school to raise nearly 30,000 dollars.

After the races, runners enjoyed hot chocolate, coffee and water inside the church, along with a bevy of snacks. As you can see from the pictures, it truly was a great day for a run!

Here are the results from the race, featuring the 5K, 10K and 5K team events.


Dan Edwards of RORK along with daughter Emily.


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Ultra runner with an ice cream addiction.

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