Race Preview: 2017 Vancouver Lake Half Marathon

The Vancouver Lake Half Marathon is typical of a great January race – unpredictable weather, yet a predictable and awesome experience! Add in that the event is only $35 (a God-send after the holiday season), and you can’t go wrong.  The race is put on by the Clark County Running Club and benefits their scholarship fund.

We had a Run Oregon reader participate in 2015, and they had this to say:

The course is flat as a pancake. My Garmin data registered 36 feet of elevation gain and 39 feet of loss. I use this race as my benchmark to see how my training is progressing through the winter because it is so flat. Usually the metro area has a perma-cloud taunting us six months out of the year, but last year it was clear on race day and we were treated to a majestic view of Mount St. Helens at both mile 1.5 and again at mile 10.5. There can be strong tail or head winds on this course, but this year there was just a very slight breeze. The fog was very thick and as runners would pass me, they would eventually fade away into the mist.

The race has three out and back sections on the road with the final part running through the park to the finish line. The race is spectator friendly event with runners passing the start line three different times allowing family and friends to cheer and encourage the runners on. There were plenty of water stations along the course and volunteers guiding runners at major turning points ensuring a smooth race.

The Clark County Running Club does a great job every year with the Vancouver Lake Half Marathon. As 100% volunteer run event, this club keeps the price reasonable and a great value. The price, the friendly volunteers and the homemade baked goods is why I come back to this race every year. I would recommend running this flat and fast event, but make sure to register early as it sells out quickly every year.

CCRC describes the course as:

The course is very flat.  It begins on Reiger Road in front of the park.  You run north for 1.5 miles  to the turnaround ( look for reflectors in road) . You come back south on Reiger road all the way past the park and turn right onto bike path.  Follow bike path all the way to Frenchman’s bar.  Turn around at the bathrooms.  Follow the exact same route back to Vancouver Lake and to the same turnaround (at the reflectors).  Run back on the left side of the road to bike path right past the park.  Turn left onto bike path.  Follow bike path to far north picnic shelter.  The course will be well-marked and there will be mile markers at each mile.  Look for orange cone at each mile.

Finishes will receive a medal and race shirts are available for purchase. The club members are also known for bringing homemade (and delicious) baked goods, along with bagels, gummy bears, pretzels and other treats.

Check out the Clark Country Running Club website, follow CCRC on Facebook, and join the Facebook Event.


Vancouver Lake Half Marathon:
When: January 22nd, 2017 at 10am
Where: Vancouver Lake
Registration: Online here or print form here; $35 online (plus $4 service fee), $40 mail in; Add $15 for tech tee shirts

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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