Looking for a beautiful course? The Dam Marathon’s website does a great job of showing off the course, which starts and finishes in Oakridge, Ore. But you need to know about the website – it starts playing a video with music (good music, at least) as soon as you get there. Mouse over the race logo and then you can click in to get details. (Or, click on the links in the info below to go directly to the details about each distance.)
Anyway, now that we’ve got that squared away, let’s take a moment to think about how great the name is. The other race that uses “Dam” so well is the ORRC Best Dam Run, which is a 10k run in September in Estacada. Very different event. This one offers a Dam Marathon, and Dam Half Marathon, a (non-dam) 10k, a (non-dam) 5k, and a Mountain Hike. I think it should be fairly clear by now this is not a flat event, as it’s run “in the mountains outside Eugene, Oregon.” The marathon circles “Hills Creek Lake” and even the 5k and 10k courses go around a body of water.
I hope the weather is pleasant that day, too, or they’ll have to change their name to the Hot Dam Marathon. And why not consider bringing a friend? You can sign them up and Give a Dam Marathon! Okay, I’ll stop now.
Here’s a short breakdown of all the distances, starting with the longest – the Dam Marathon. It’s important to note that you can not run over the dam on a regular day – the race has obtained special use permission, so this really is your only chance (until next year). The course is a mix of paved roads, forest service roads, and gravel. It’s a point-to-point course which mercifully allows you to park at the finish and take the bus to the start; because climbing onto a bus after running a marathon would be damn hard. There is a bag drop, similar to the Vernonia Marathon’s: take your stuff with you to the start and they will shuttle it to the finish for you. On the marathon course, there are aid stations at miles 3 and 6, and then about every 2 miles after that. Restrooms are a little more sparse; just at the start, halfway, mile 21, and finish. There are great maps of the course on the website you can check out here. The Dam Marathon is a damn deal at only $79.
The Dam Half Marathon is more of a climb/decline than the marathon, and is run as an out-and-back. The route includes trail, gravel road, and forest service road, starting and finishing at Greenwaters Park. Aid for half marathon participants will be set up to be passed twice, so there are a total of 7 chances to rehydrate on course. You’ll also pass a restroom at two points on-course, plus the start/finish area. The half marathon is set at $69.
The 10k, 5k, and Mountain Hike (4.5 miles with an elevation gain of nearly 2,500 feet) are all $29 to sign up and start at Greenwaters Park. The 5k includes some elevation gain/loss, but be sure to look at the scale if you check out the elevation profile – the 5k course has got some pretty steep inclines but the declines look just as tough. 10k participants will do the 5k route twice.
Now that’s a lot of races to remember, so here are the details for each:
When: Saturday, June 18, 2016
What time: The marathon starts at 8a, the half marathon and hike at 9:30a, and the 10k/5k at 11a.
Where: Greenwaters Park in Oakridge, Ore. off Highway 5k (Click here for a map) – the headwaters for the Willamette River
Register: Online here; the marathon is $79, the half is $69, and all other events are $29. All events come with the race shirt, a tote bag, and a bumper sticker. The race shirt is a cool design; white with the race logo on the front and “I just ran the Dam Marathon!” on the back. Nice.
The start/finish area at Greenwaters Park will be a fun, lively place. The band Cherry and the Low Boys (I’ve actually seen them, they are good and FUN) will be playing live music and there will be food & drink, including Kombucha, for all participants. There will also be raffle prizes, in which everyone who signs up gets entered into a drawing to win cash, entries, gift certificates, prizes, and cool experience certificates like a snowmobile rental.