Race Preview: 2015 Sunriver Marathon for a Cause

sunriver_marathon_adOne of favorite races on the running calendar is the annual Sunriver Marathon for a Cause, now in its 5th year. This event is held over the Labor Day weekend, which truly allows runners to make the beautiful drive to Central Oregon and spend a little time in and around the Sunriver Resort. I ran the 10k race back in 2012, my first at the event, and followed that up with the "double half" event they put on in 2013. My entire family went, we stayed at the resort, and had a great long weekend of running and playing. The 10k and the double half have been removed from the docket, but the full, half, and 5k remain. 

Gear pick-up begins bright and early on Saturday events, though the longer distances aren’t run until Sunday. The Sunriver Resort hosts the pick-up and small expo and has historically featured a nice paid breakfast spread for those wanting a little pre-race fuel (or for those accompanying their runners).The 5k starts at 830am on Saturday and the kid’s race at 10am. The full starts at 715am on Sunday, with the half shortly therafter at 730am. There is an early start as well.

Check out the race course for all distances here. As for the half course itself (which is also the first half of the full):

The first mile ran along the paved golf cart paths near the resort itself, but eventually found a small stretch of “real” trail before heading into Crosswater Country Club golf course. The sheer backdrop over the subsequent few miles made me actually want to take up golf! The course was beautiful, the backdrop was amazing, and the Cascades to the NW were even more visible and striking than I remembered. The long stretches of cart path along the fairways offered a great opportunity to see a large amount of the runners snaking through the course together.
Mile 6 put us onto the some of the great bike paths in the Caldera Springs area. For 2.5 miles, the flat weaving in and out of the shaded tree canopy was only broken up by a short incline near mile 7. At mile 8.5, the marathon and half-marathon courses split along a residential road.Mile 9 (for the half runners) saw us curve around some lakes and eventually do a short, yet fun, jaunt over a bridge. We crossed under the main South Century Drive and were met with a short, yet pretty sharp incline up to mile 11. There was a last little uphill after mile 11.5, but the familiar stretch to the finish at mile 12 really put me in cruise control to the end.
The second half of the marathon looks like this:

Following a curve around the backside of the Sunriver Airport, which allowed for views of take offs and landings of at least 5 planes, we passed the Sunriver Stables and Marina. At about mile 5, we entered along the miles of familiary bike paths that snake around Sunriver.

I personally think that the finish at Merchant Lawn behind the resort is one of the best post-race areas in the state. The outdoor area is beautifully manicured, and it is cozy and intimate without feeling cramped. It offers some fantastic views of the surrounding mountainside and the clean mountain air just seems fresher. Couple that with a great post-race spread, logo pint glass, nice medals, and historically solid race shirts, and you have a great experience from top to bottom.

Registration on-site is also an option if you need to wait and see how your Labor Day weekend shapes up. Those days and times are:

Friday, September 4, 2015

3:00PM–7:00PM                Sunriver Resort Lodge

Saturday, September 5, 2015

7:30AM–5:00PM                Sunriver Resort Lodge

The marathon is a BQ (and one of the last qualifying events of the year) and the event itself benefits St. Charles Cancer Services.


Sunriver Marathon for a Cause Full, Half, and 5k (Sunriver)
When: September 5-6, 2015
Where: Sunriver Resort
Register: Online here;
Full – $105
Half – $80
5k – $45
About Matt Rasmussen (1623 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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