Forget February, with all its rain and clammy chill; think instead about the warm, sunny days and races where you actually want to hang around and have a beer with friends rather than head home for a warm shower.
Keeping in mind my favorite events may sound bor-ing to you, here’s a little about my “race style” to help you decide if these might be races you’d like to do. I like locally-owned events – that’s a must. I enjoy both events put on to support non-profits and events that support local business owners. I prefer small to mid-size races, events that don’t break the bank and are either within a half-hour drive or totally worth a road trip. And I like events that encourage participants to hang out for a while afterwards.
Here are my favorite summer events, with links, to help you build your race calendar.
5k – July: Since I already talked about the Stoller Vineyards 5k in the Run Oregon’s Best Races post, let me tell you about the Sunday Evenings 5k. It literally checks all the boxes in my list above: The Sunday Evenings 5k is only $5 (when you register before June 26), hosted by a church (non-profit, natch), and includes dinner. And it’s a ten-minute drive from my house. It’s scheduled for July 10, 2016 and starts at the lovely hour of 5p at SW Bible Church at 14605 SW Weir Rd in Beaverton.
10k – July: Falling into the “Worth the Drive” category is Eugene’s Aquafina Butte to Butte. Aquafina has earned the right to be included in the race name, as a long-time sponsor that provides something really useful for the race. I know for some of you, this isn’t a “drive,” but for me it is! I went to grad school in Eugene, so it’s a fun excuse to go see what’s changed since the last time I was there. This year promises a new start and new finish, but I’m hoping it will incorporate a lot of the old course. Either way, the finish near 5th and High will be cool and not have a small hill to the finish! You can register online here by July 3 for $25 without a shirt and $35 with. The new logo is pretty sweet so the shirt might be in order!
Half Marathon – June: Also in the “Worth the Drive” category is the White Salmon Backyard Half Marathon. Called such because it’s run on private land, this is technically a free race, but donated entry fees all go to support the XC team at White Salmon Columbia High School. This is NOT an easy race. There’s nearly 2,000 ft of elevation gain and loss in this half marathon. New this year is an early start (8:30a) for hikers. Runners start at 10a, so it’s very easy to drive day-of from the Portland metro area; after the run you can head back to Everybody’s Brewing (conveniently located at the starting line) for some food and drink! Register and donate online here, or day of race. (If you are looking at their info site and looking for the registration link, it’s in small font under the course description.)
Marathon/Ultra/Relay/Distance – July: It sounds like I’m confused, but that’s the perfect category in which to place the Pick Your Poison Relay, put on by locally-owned Go Beyond Racing. It’s a 12 and 24 hour run, which you can run solo or with a team of 2, 4, 6, or 8. Running July 23-24 this year at Hagg Lake, it’s a van-less relay … the “legs” are loops of the lake on either the road or the trail. So there’s plenty of hanging out with friends at this event. There are too many registration options to list here, so check it out and sign up online here. The next price bump is April 1.