Race Preview: 2017 Corvallis Half Marathon and 5k

One race that I have on my running bucket list is the Corvallis Half Marathon (and 5k). This Oregon Half Series event has been around for a bit (with a new 5k coming on board in 2015), but has been one that just hasn’t lined up with my calendar. I am a big fan of running in Corvallis – from the Macdonald Forest to the Midge Cramer Path to Bald Hill and on the paths alongside the river right downtown. There are some really great running locations in the city, and the ‘Tour de Corvallis’ aims to showcase just about everything this college town has to offer.

The half marathon is ran on paved sidewalks, bike paths, and roads. It is also relatively straight, great for a PR, and features a couple of gradual climbs. The course itself is a tour of both the OSU campus and historical distance, followed by a large loop of almost all of NW Corvallis. We ran the half a few years ago and had this to say:

Covered bridge on course!

The first ~3.5 miles took us for a wonderful tour through more of the OSU campus area. So gorgeous! At ~mile 3-ish, we ran over a delightful covered bridge. Farm animals abound, and I was able to capture pics of horses, cows, sheep and llamas. After crossing 53rd street just after mile 4, we began running on some multi-use paths (I believe it is the Midge Cramer pathway) with gentle rollers, taking us past the Benton County Fairgrounds and toward Bald Hill.

After aid station 4, we were treating to a tour of the Corvallis area neighborhoods. Once we arrived at 53rd and Walnut area, we turned onto Aspen drive to get off the main roads, and instead were running in the Timberhill neighborhood. I was so happy and thankful to see so many people in the neighborhood out cheering on runners, and be so supportive of the race.  I was so pleased to see all the neighborhoods full of residents encouraging and cheering on runners. I love it and appreciate it when a community embraces a race like this, as there are many communities that are not like this, and the runners can feel it pretty loud and clear when racing.

It was awesome to stay on the field for a little bit cheering in fellow finishers. Having the finish line on the 50 yard line of Reser Stadium really was perfect; there was room for everyone to move, stretch, and just generally spread out after the event.

The 5k is really straight and flat and ripe for a PR. It has a grand total of 5 turns (including the turnaround point), and essentially no differing in elevation. We also participated in the inaugural 2015 Corvallis 5k, with some glowing remarks:

The course was pretty straightforward and nicely designed, on wide streets with plenty of space to pass as runners came and went. On the way out we stayed right on a divided section of road and came back over a covered bridge. We crossed some train tracks and took a left turn onto a bike path. A few blocks later we turned south again and made our way back into the stadium parking lot and the finish, where bagels, bananas, and other refreshments awaited.

The first Corvallis 5K was a well-organized and fun race on a fast course. As an added benefit, it was also exactly 10 miles shorter than the Corvallis Half Marathon!

This was a great little race! Very well-organized and staffed, and the small field of runners and flat course is great for both those trying a first race as well as those who are hoping for a new PR at the 5k, and everyone in between.

Some new things are coming up in 2017, the first of which is a 1k1m for kids. It’s only $10 by itself, but if you run the 5k, your kiddo will get a free entry (which comes with a medal, food, and beverage afterwards).

They also have a “double” this year, where runners can participate in both weekend races – with the 5k only costing $15 on top of the half.

Follow them on Facebook for all the details leading up to race day! Five Star Sports will again be helping with shoe recycling. Shoes in good condition will be donated to those who need and cannot afford shoes. For the well-loved oldies, they will be sent up to Nike’s shoe recycling program for rejuvenation into track surfaces. Last year saw about 130 pounds of shoes donated. Also,with every pair of donated shoes, the MORE Program is able to plant one ton of carbon grounding trees and train poor farmers in sustainable agroforestry.

Come join up to 1500 runners in wonderful Corvallis this year. I hope to cross this one of my bucket list!


  • 5k – Saturday April 8, 2017 (1030a start)
  • 13.1 – Sunday April 9, 2017 (930a start)

Where: Gill Coliseum – 660 SW 26th St
Register: Online here; Prices include race shirt, medal, post-race food, and beverage from Blcok 15 or 2 Towns

  • Half Marathon – $75
  • 5K Run/Walk – $35
  • The double: 5k and Half Marathon  – $90
  • Family 1K & 1mile – $10
About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (609) and wineries (148) 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.

%d bloggers like this: