Forget February: Matt’s favorite summer races

I tend to try to stick close to home when I am running in the Summer. As Run Oregon’s southernmost blogger (currently – we are always looking for bloggers in Southern Oregon … wink … nudge), that means that Aurora to Corvallis is generally the area that I cover. That’s not to say that I can’t, won’t, or don’t travel all over to run, but if I can stay closer to home, I am all for it.

If you’re looking to planning out some new races – perhaps a little further south (if you are in the Portland and surrounding areas), check out these these great summertime races:

This is a Rasmussen family favorite race. The location is great as Minto Brown Park is home to miles and miles of great trails – and will only get bigger and more accessible as the finishing touches are put on the new pedestrian bridge. The cost is wonderful- $12! And most importantly, it comes complete with an ice cream social afterwards. Nothing screams summer like 6 miles on well-maintained paved trails, views of the Willamette River, and a sweet bowl of ice cream afterwards.

I don’t know if any of my fellow bloggers mentioned this race as their faves (they may have known it would be on my list), but this one is almost a staple in my life nowadays. This locally-organized race traverses the Dundee Hills AVA wine region and is not for the feint of heart. It is always a challenge, yet the views and the post-race awesomeness is always worth it. Probably my favorite part of the race is that the race course is always changing. Since there are so many great wineries in the area, the course is continually shifting and evolving to include everyone. Love it.

This was a brand new race in 2016, yet I was blown away by how well it was put on. The event is held within the large and tucked-away Left Coast Winery in rural Polk County. The grounds are immaculate and absolutely beautiful. On top of that, they are LIVE Sustainable Viticulture (a certification of environmentally and socially responsible wine growing), Salmon Safe Certified, and received the largest agricultural solar power grant in the state of Oregon. They also make a killer Pinot. The course is no joke – with massive climbs (I did mine with a stroller last year) and rolling hills for days. But it’s all made worth it with an included Patagonia race tee, wine tasting, and wine glass.


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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