Run Oregon ran the inaugural event back in 2014 and we had some great things to say:
The Bend Beer Chase organizers were bold and ambitious with their first one-day relay race. It takes a lot of planning, work and risk to start a complicated relay race when you factor in coordinating for safety, permits from the various cities runners pass through and working with ten different sponsor breweries. I know they have experience with relay races, but I was still impressed with how well the relay race went consider it was the first year for this event. Yes, there are opportunities for refining elements of this experience to make it even better than it already is, but this is a race experience that I would recommend running when they have it again in May of 2015. If you love running and you love beer, this race is a great event to enjoy what Central Oregon has to offer.
It is important to note that they DID make those changes and refinements after the inaugural year. What started off being a 70-mile race has since shortened (due to weather, logistics, and participant feedback). While the 2017 Bend Beer Chase course map will be available in March 2017, the event is now a 50-mile extravaganza. How does it work? Well, read here to learn more about how they do their race.
Also consider checking out their Keg Leg, a 2.8 mile jaunt that includes 6-7 breweries that will be serving samples, hosting games, and putting on a good time. Even if your team can’t stick around, the Keg Leg can be run by yourself afterwards. They have always had some amazing Bend breweries and distilleries on board for the race itself as well as the Keg Leg.
If you are worried about needing to find your required volunteer, or just want to support a local non-profit, you can participate in their popular “Hire a Volunteer” program. It will cost an additional $100 (before April 1, 2017), but 100% of your donation goes directly to the charities who provide volunteers for the event. The race will work with one of their dozens of community partners to secure AND pay your volunteer to assist with the event so you don’t have to worry about it. Cascade Relays has actually directly donated a total of $235,000 to local non-profits and community groups since 2008.
In fact, Cascade Relays created their own foundation (Cascade Relays Foundation) in October of this year, which supports local non-profits, school groups, and community organizations in Central Oregon. They look to be doing some great things over there!
We highly recommend you check out their page dedicated to preparing for the race, including downloading the app, and then start getting your team together. There is such a wealth of knowledge on the page, from accommodations, to important dates, to leg maps, they have you covered. Add in all the above positives and THEN realize that this is actually one of the more inexpensive summer relays out there (you can register RIGHT NOW for only $525 for a team of 5 or 6)!
Follow the Bend Beer Chase on Facebook. Once a map is posted, we plan to do a more detailed preview as a reminder – but don’t wait on us! Get yourself ready for beerunning!