Another year has started and another Polar Bear run has gone by. Once again the turnout was fantastic (298 runners), the run was good (even with snow in places), the weather was nearly perfect (33 degrees and blue skies at start of race), the race timing team (Eclectic Edge Racing) was awesome and the race organizers were, well…at ease? How do I say it without all the butter and flattery? Maybe that’s just it, I shouldn’t say it. Instead let me suggest that you might consider a trip over to Redmond next January for what has become a well organized, well planned, fun, family event!
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!