Race Preview: McKenzie River Half Marathon 03/22/2015 (Eugene, OR)

McKenzie River Half Marathon, by Level 32 Racing, occurring on Sunday, March 22, 2015. (Photo Credit: Level 32 Racing)

McKenzie River Half Marathon, by Level 32 Racing, occurring on Sunday, March 22, 2015. (Photo Credit: Level 32 Racing)

I am very excited to be running in the 2015 McKenzie River Half Marathon, by Level 32 Racing, this year. Fellow Run Oregon Blogger, Amber, was able to participate in the 2014 event, and I am stoked to get out there for the 2015 race!

This USATF certified half marathon will take place on Sunday, March 22, 2015.  As the race is limited to 500 participants only, don’t delay getting your registration in for this event!

McKenzie River Half Marathon is a point to point event, which is always super exciting. All participants must park at Armitage Park in Eugene and take the shuttle to the start line, at Emerald Dance Studio in Springfield. Level 32 Racing has paid for all participant’s day-use parking at Armitage Park, so parking is complimentary – make sure to not park in the first lot by the dog park, however. If you want to bring a drop bag on the shuttle, please clearly mark the bag with your name and bib number, and it will be transported back to the finish line.

Again, I want to mention the McKenzie River Half Marathon is a USATF certificated 13.1 mile course. As an avid racer, I applaud races that obtain USATF certification for distance. Thank you, Level 32 Racing, for going above and beyond for us to runners to get this! The course will be spectacular, and is described as being “one of the most scenic runs ever!” After taking the shuttle from the finish line, at Armitage Park, the race will begin in Springfield. About the 2.5 mile mark you will begin going through the (so I’ve been told) lovely Hayden Bridge Road neighborhood. Runners will then proceed onto Marcola Road shortly, and connect onto Old Mohawk Road. Your first glimpse, of many, of my favorite river ever, the McKenzie, will be at about the 3.75 mile mark. The second viewing will occur at about the 5.3 mile mark, right before racers proceed onto McKenzie View Drive. Full course map available for viewing here.

Once on McKenzie View Drive, we’ll be running near and along the McKenzie River until just prior to the finish line. I already know I’ll be totally digging and fully taking in the views from miles 6 to 11.5. After crossing I-5 (not literally, but we have to get back to the Eugene side to finish), there will be a loop on Coburg Road which will lead us straight to the finish line at Armitage Park back in Eugene. A quick summary of the elevation of the half marathon is: first 5 miles are mostly flat, miles ~5 to ~11 are gentle rolling hills (my favorite!), and the final stretch to the finish line is flat.

McKenzie River Half Marathon, by Level 32 Racing, occurring on Sunday, March 22, 2015. Elevation Profile, courtesy of Level 32 Racing.

McKenzie River Half Marathon, by Level 32 Racing, occurring on Sunday, March 22, 2015. Elevation Profile, courtesy of Level 32 Racing.

Plenty of aid stations will greet runners along the course, with a total of 5. Aid stations are scheduled to be located at mile 3.8, 5.7, 8, 10 and 12. Since the first aid station is at mile 3.8, you may wish to plan ahead with a hand-held bottle to take along with you. I typically always bring a small hand-held water bottle with me, regardless of distance, being a runner with asthma. It’s nice having that security ‘blanket’ just in case.

The McKenzie River Half has a 3.5 hour course time limit, so it is fairly walker friendly, but please do keep the 3.5 hour course limit in mind if you plan on walking exclusively during this event. Commemorative finisher medals will be given to finishers at the finish line. Awards will also be presented to the top three male and female finishers, as well as the top three in each age group. All participants are eligible for the random prize drawing gifts; one of the prizes is for 2 complimentary 1 night stays at the Hilton Garden Inn in Springfield. The Hilton Garden Inn in Springfield is also the host hotel for this event, and Level 32 Racing has secured a $99 per night event discount rate, which includes breakfast, if reserving by March 6.

Registration is currently $60 for adults through March 21st. If you are a senior 60+ or a youth participate 17 and under, you will receive $5 off. If space remains (remember, this event is capped at 500 participants), you can register for $70 on race day. Long-sleeve tech shirts are available for an additional $12. Same day packet pick-up available at the start line in Springfield from 7:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.

I’m registered for the March 22 McKenzie River Half Marathon, and I hope you will consider signing up, too. I am so excited to run by and near the McKenzie River for 13.1 miles!

Date: Sunday, March 22, 2015
Distance: Half marathon (USATF Certified course)
Start Time: 9:00 a.m. (must take shuttle to the start line)
Cost: $60 for adults through March 21st. $70 on race day if the cap has not been reached. Seniors 60+ and youth 17 and under deduct $5. Event shirts available for $12 (order in advance).
Register: Click here to register

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