The inaugural 2015 Bend Marathon and Half Marathon presented by Picky Bars is scheduled for Sunday, April 26th and will be the first marathon to fully take advantage of the beautiful town. There have been runs in Bend and there are marathons in Central Oregon, but this is the first marathon to start and finish in Bend. Runners have the option of a full 26.2 miles or 13.1 and both courses should be spectacular.
Beginning in downtown Bend, the course runs through the heart of the city, including Drake Park and stretches along the Deschutes River. It travels past the Old Mill District, through Farewell Bend Park and along the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway. Runners will turn around near the Seventh Mountain Resort and make their way back into Bend along portions of the West Bend Trail. The majority of the course is on pavement (85%), but there is a small amount on gravel (15%). The entire course should be beautiful with views of Three Sister, Broken Top and Mt. Bachelor. The finish line (and post-run party) is at 10 Barrel Brewing Company.
Both the marathon and half marathon begin at 7:30AM and the average temperature for this time of year is just below 40 degrees at start time and daytime highs average around 60-65 degrees, pretty decent running temperatures. Chances are much better it will be dry in Bend on race day versus Portland. Strollers will be allowed on the half marathon course, but not for the full marathon. The full marathon includes a small gravel section is not stroller friendly. Hopefully, there will be some pace groups running since this will be a certified Boston Qualifying marathon. Plan on some hill work with your training, according to the course elevation chart, there’s at least one good climb. The course will remain open and supported for 6 hours. Foot Zone and Picky Bars will have aid stations among the many along the course. Food, beer and Jamba Juice will be waiting for runners at 10 Barrel Brewery.
Started by the same pair that created the Gorgeous Relay, I’m confident the inaugural run will be organized and well planned. Blair Hook and Kerry Loehr are native Oregonians and marathoners. They know the important aspects of an event, from a runner’s perspective. While they will keep giveaway details a surprise, these guys get creative with their swag. Every runner will receive a long sleeve technical shirt, unique finisher’s “medal’ and other goodies. Trying to keep it local with the swag and their sharing, the Bend Marathon will have a drop box for participants to donate gently used items for people in need and are donating to the Summit Track and Cross Country Team. Also in the works, raising money for the American Cancer Society with the Bend Marathon, as one of the Race Directors is a cancer survivor, this organization is close to their hearts.
Registration is available on their website and you can stay up to date with Bend Marathon announcements on their Facebook page. It was a hard decision for me, choosing between the half and the full marathon. With an event the week before this that will leave my legs tired, the half is probably a smarter option, but I decided on the full. I’ll probably be swearing up the hill about it, but it’s the inaugural year and I don’t want to miss out. A short road trip and fun weekend getaway, I’m excited to see what the Bend Marathon brings.
When: April 26, 2015 at 730a
Where: Downtown Bend
Register: Online here; Full for $105, Half for $95