Race Preview: 2015 Albany Half Marathon (and new 5k)


Need to get one last training run in before Hood to Coast? Maybe you’re just looking for a chill, rural setting to knock out a personal best in the half?  The Albany Half Marathon may be the perfect solution. Now its its 3rd year, there have been a few changes. The logo has been much more streamlined and the event has added a 5k.

Though there have been changes, the half marathon course looks to be the same. Expect a mostly flat course with easy access off I-5.  The course will start in a park, work it’s way through neighborhoods, before giving way to some beautiful local farms complete with rolling hills (watch out for mile 6) and views far and wide. This this a great way to kick off your Saturday – running through rural farmland in a great community-oriented event.

Matt ran this in the past and had this to say:

The race began at Timber-Linn Memorial Park, a large area (with TONS of parking) on the east side of I-5 in Albany.
After the first 45 seconds or so, we veered off into some residential streets. We were greeted with local residents holding up signs (I was partial to the “Puke & Rally” posterboard) and offering encouragement to all that passed. After about mile 2, we hit the long Knox Butte Rd for the next 3 miles. I personally love long stretches of straight roads. It gives me an opportunity to just take in the surrounding environment and lose myself in the run. The backdrop of the race reminded me of the Cascade Half Marathon (sans the freezing temperatures) with farmland in all directions.
At mile 5, runners veered north on Lickskillet Rd (great name!) before heading back towards town via Kamph Road. There was a minor hill right around mile 8, but seemed to come and go quickly. Another mini climb around mile 10 gave way to a rolling downhill and a 2 mile stretch to the finish.
There were some GREAT things about the race as a whole. First of all, they claimed they would have aid stations every 2 miles and delivered on this promise. I have seen races say they are going to have aid stations, but come race day, they just weren’t there. There was water every 2 miles, and Gu at miles 4 and 8. Also, the volunteers were wonderful. From experience, sometime the high-school generation of volunteers are more interested in their phones than guiding runners in the righ direction. There was not one volunteer- not a single one – who did not legitimetely cheer and offer encouragement. That was very impressive.
One of our loyal Run Oregon readers Julie has this to say on her great blog:
I have ran this both years and it was well organized with lots of fun drawings at the end during awards. Top ten males and females in each age group will receive prizes. All proceeds goes to the Albany Schools. Course is a “loop” progressing through local farms.  A slight incline about mile 6.  You will get a fabulous view of rural homesteads, go over a few rolling hills and see the base of the cascades. You don’t want to miss this one!

There will be water stations every few miles and a refueling and porta-potty at the halfway point. All proceeds from the race will go to benefit Albany Public Schools.

Race Vitals

Where: Timber Linn Park, Albany OR

When: Half Marathon starts at 8am, 5k at 8:15am

How Much: $55 half ; $25 5k; Register here

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, 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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