The course remained unchanged and even with a little snow on the trail this year, the canyon was as inviting as ever. With the exception of a very small section at the beginning and then at the end, the course keeps runners away from traffic and down in the dry canyon. There were volunteers all along the course, which makes it very encouraging for novice runners that fear getting lost.
For the second year in a row, the race featured the 1st Responders Challenge 5K. This year’s winner was Jefferson County Fire District, but only by 4 minutes over Deschutes County Sheriff. This concept of combining more than the standard 5K/10K events is just one more reason the Polar Bear draws the crowd it does in early January.
Trey Conley of Redmond High CC took 1st in the 5K and Peter Curran of Bend took 1st in the 10K. After the race there were snacks and beverages inside the school for the Polar Bear Expo, along with booth after booth of local vendors, some of which were giving away race entries for upcoming races. Be sure to check this event out next year as it is certainly not going anywhere and instead continues to grow!