Erupting with Awesome: A Run Oregon preview of the 2015 Volcano Half Marathon (and 5k) by Runwithpaula

As many people know, I'm a little bit proud of races in my current city of Keizer. There are a few great races in the area (Willamette Valley Marathon, Keizer Turkey Dash, and the Keizer Jingle Dash), and I try to make it to each and every one. New in 2015, Runwithpaula Events is bringing the Volcano Half Marathon and 5k to town.

The half course is a point-to-point course beginning at Willamette Mission State Park (North of Keizer) and finishing at Volcanoes Stadium – home of the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes Minor League Baseball team. Shuttles will be operating to take runners from the stadium to the start from 6a-715a. There will be an ungodly amount of parking at the stadium, so no worries there. The 5k will be an out-and-back starting and ending at the stadium.

I have run and cycled the half course numerous times (though mostly in reverse). Runners will head out of the State Park and head south onto quiet Wheatland Road. There is a bunch of agriculture in this area, highlighted by some abundant hop farms (including some specifically for Full Sail Brewing in Hood River, if I’m not mistaken). Around mile 4, runners will get a short and steep downhill onto Ravena Drive and hit some more straightaways through more farmland, including corn and what should be the start of a beautiful flower farm (blooms dependent on weather of course). It will be impossible to veer off course, as there is really only one road until runners hit Lockhaven Drive. The final 3 miles will be on busier city streets, and feature only some gradual inclines along the way. Thought the roads will be busier, working with law enforcement during the few major street crossings has gone off without a hitch in other local Keizer races.

Registration includes the following:

  • Volcano finisher tee
  • Finisher medal
  • Goodie Bag
  • Lunch (burger, garden burger or hot dog)
  • Coffee (by Peet’s) beforehand and Beer Garden (by Rogue) after
  • Live music by the Ben Rice Band
  • Shuttle ticket
  • Well supported course (with Nuun)
  • Free, easy, and nearby parking

I always urge those outside of the Salem/Keizer area to come and check out our little city. It’s a great mix of rural farmland and small town America (though I wish we had less fast-food restaurants). Events like these only bring more acknowledgement to my city, and this race should definitely showcase all of what we have to offer. Hopefully the day will be sunny enough to catch a glimpse of Mt. Hood or the top of Mt. Jefferson in the distance, but no matter what, you will be witness to a solid new event.

Volcano Half Marathon and 5k (Keizer)

When: 8a on Sunday, May 3, 2015
Where: Start at Willamette Mission State Park; Finish at Volcanoes Stadium
Register: Online here; $79 for Half, $35 for 5k

About Matt Rasmussen (1553 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.
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