For a first time event, I felt this race went off without a hitch. The parking was plentiful in the downtown parkade (though I notice most people parking on the main streets), and the bag check was a cinch. This was absolutely perfect race course in my opinion. While there are other half marathons in the Bend area, this event was billed as the first that took place entirely within the downtown Bend limits. And it delivered on everything I was hoping it would be. I could spend the next hour talking up this race and all the awesome that it oozed. And considering that it was an inaugural event, things are only going to get better. Despite being tired and slower from my half the day before, the minutes literally blew by. It is the only race I have ever ran in where I couldn't believe just how fast each mile was coming up. With everything going on, I completely lost track of time along the way. Trust me, this is the latest addition to YOUR "Running Bucket List". You won't regret it. Prepare to be blown away.
The 2016 event has a few changes – the major one being the half course itself. In 2015, the half course ran a few miles each way along the Deschutes River trail north of Downtown. This year, when runners are heading north, they will stick to city streets on the west side of the river from miles 2-4 before heading back south on the trail for 3/4 mile or so. There will also be much more spent on the far west from miles 8-finish than in last year’s event. My guess is that this will yield the opportunity for much greater views over that stretch.
The full marathon course is similar, with a few minor changes to assist with the turnaround area on Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, as well as some changes to bring about even more beautiful views. A Bend Family 4k has also been added, which will provide a jaunt through the heart of the city and finish at Drake Park.
There are a lot of great FAQ’s on their website and we encourage you to check it out. Some of the more major notes are that aid stations will be plentiful (miles 2.2, 3.8, 6.7, 8.4, 10.7, 13.2, 15.5, 18, 20.4, 22.3, and 24.1) and contain water, electrolyte drink, and some form of energy product, or several (Picky Bars, gummy bears, etc). Beast Pacing will be doing their duty, all registration includes a long sleeve tech shirt, Picky Bar, beer from new sponsor Deschutes Brewery, and a killer medal (last year’s was awesome)!
Registration fees increase on December 15, so save yourself some money, buy yourself (or a loved one) an early Christmas present, and get set-up to have a great time in Bend this Spring! The event sold out last year so don’t delay!
When: April 24, 2016; Marathon will start at 7:00 am, Half waves start at 8:20am, Family 4k at 9am
Where: Downtown Bend (start is on Oregon Ave between Wall and Bond)
Register: Online here;
- Full Marathon Early Bird (Now to 12.15.15) – $85
- Full Marathon (12.16.15 to 2.2.16) – $95
- Full Marathon Late Bird (2.3.16 to 4.24.16) – $110
- Half Marathon Early Bird (Now to 12.15.15) – $70
- Half Marathon (12.16.15 to 2.2.16) – $85
- Half Marathon Late Bird (2.2.16 – 4.24.16) – $95
- Bend Family 4k Early Bird (Now to 2.2.16) – $30
- Bend Family 4k Late Bird (2.3.16 to 4.24.16) – $40
- 13 and over must register (t-shirt and finisher medal included), 12 and under run for FREE (no t-shirt).