Running to the Beat: A Run Oregon review of the 2016 Beat Beethoven’s Fifth 5k


It’s easy to see why Spencer loved the shirts.

This has been a summer of more whimsical events for me, and the 2nd Annual Beat Beethoven’s Fifth 5k would be on that list. It was by luck that I heard about the run, after another Run Oregon blogger did a race preview. I thought it was a sign I needed to do it when it fell on a weekend we’d already be in Sunriver, but ultimately the decision was with my fifteen year old marching band enthusiast.

He wasn’t thrilled -at all -about running a 5k, having been suckered into a few with his mom, but the idea of trying to run faster than Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony almost had him. I closed the deal with the race shirt. They were pseudo-tuxedoes and his eyes lit up. I was giddy with this discovery, with my negotiating skills and anticipating a fun run with my kiddo.

Fast forward to race day. I didn’t pack any ear buds or music because I thought I would be chatting with my son. The race starts and finishes along the track at Central Oregon Community College (COCC) and it was fun to see all the Senior Citizens helping organize this race. They were passing out shirts, handing out bibs and reminding runners that a local radio station would be broadcasting the symphony for anyone running with their phone.


2nd Annual Beat Beethoven’s Fifth 5k

There were a few announcements, including that a young gentleman would be a pacer for anyone needing a little help beating Beethoven, which was roughly 33 minutes. No pseudo tuxedo for the pacer, the guy was a trooper in a tux jacket and red scarf so everyone could easily pick him out. After the National Anthem played over the loudspeaker, the music started and we were off for our 5k. There was a little giggle amongst the crowd as ‘Celebration’ blasted for our start, quite the contrast to Beethoven. That’s the stuff I love to remember with events, the things that don’t go quite right, but make fun memories.

A quick shift with music genre and we were heading off campus, following red arrows and course directors. There was a steep, steep hill just outside of the campus as we headed towards downtown Bend. It might have seemed like an especially long downhill section because I was thinking the whole time that we were going to have to climb that for the finish. Signs lined the course pretty much the whole way, which I need being the girl most likely to get off course.


Beethoven blasting over the loudspeaker gave some of a little more energy.

Once off the steep downhill, it was completely flat, running along sidewalks in the suburban neighborhood. It was an out and back course, so you got to see runners heading back in, which I always love. Every once in a while you would pass by someone playing the radio broadcast. There was a self-serve water station at the turnaround. My kiddo lost steam with trying to beat Beethoven’s Fifth and shifted to surviving the run and savoring the Beethoven’s piece.


Tents, a live band and Spencer were waiting for me at the finish line.

In no time, we were back at the hill for the finish and my guy was tired. We aren’t acclimated to the altitude in Bend and I gave him sections to rest. As I was coaxing him up that hill, I got a little bit of help from another woman on the course. She was the cutest woman out there, dressed in a black tutu, looking like a conductor and it was just the push my guy needed to finish.

As soon as we got to the top of the hill, he heard Beethoven blasting from the finish line and he took off in an all out sprint. He might have beat me to the finish line, but I’d say I was the one who won. While he wasn’t a fan of the running part, he liked the theme, loved the shirts and appreciated the Jamba Juice at the end. Besides that hill at the finish, I loved everything about this run and if you find yourself in the Bend area next summer definitely check out Beat Beethoven’s Fifth.


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