Some races just end up finding their way on the yearly running calendar. It could be due to one or a variety of factors, but they feel like home and we find ourselves returning year after year. Prior to doing the Lincoln City Half Marathon two years ago, I had only made it to events at the coast sporadically. Now I consider this one of my favorite events and I would hate to miss it. A great locale, fresh air, a very friendly community coupled with unique glass float awards really set this event apart. This year it is scheduled for March 5th, and the gun goes off at 9 am.
The first step to racing is to register, of course. Click the link here and get on it before the February 1st price increase. Right now it is $50 for the half and ten dollars less for the 10K. Both fees increase by $5 after the 31st. DOE registration is $10 more than the current price for each. Entry fees include a shirt and great post race food, as well as finishers medals for all. Timing is provided by Eclectic Edge, whom I have never had a bad experience with. Awards are given to the top overall finishers and ribbons 3 deep in the 5 year age brackets. This is an event that takes care of it’s participants well. There are two packet pick up options, the usual race day from 7 to 8:30 am, or from noon to 3 at the Lincoln Community Center, 2150 NE Oar Place.
For those who have run before, there will be a change in the starting location. Voris Field is where the event first began in 2008, but the start/finish line was later moved to Wapiti Park after a major slide on the course. This year the race is returning “home” to Voris Field for several reasons. The Taft High School and Voris Field are nearby and accessible. Anyone who has been out to Wapiti Park can attest to the parking limitations and shuttle necessities. With the school nearby to Voris Field, parking will be abundant and eliminates the need for a shuttle. The school district is not charging the race for use of the facility, which will allow them to share more race proceeds with the many local non-profit groups assisting with the event. The course will still follow Schooner Creek Road, through the dense forests and along rushing streams at the base of the Coast Range. Participants often spot elk and other wildlife in the early spring event, which is how the race earned its nickname, “Elk Stampede.”
This has always been a good bellwether for me personally, to test my capabilities before the regular spring races begin. It’s still fairly early in the season and there is time to figure out the weak spots. Most of what attracts me to this event is the atmosphere, everyone is pretty happy and friendly. It definitely is a small town event and holds a charm that big races can’t provide. For that reason and a few more, it would be great idea to make a little road trip to Lincoln City on March 5th and head over to Taft High School for some fun.