Running and Beer – a Gorgeous combination: A Run Oregon preview of the 2017 Gorgeous Portland Pub Relay

One of my favorite running memories in 2016 was participating in the Gorgeous Portland Pub Relay with our Run Oregon team. The 6 of us took to the streets of Portland and traversed the Willamette in search of the next great brewery. We had a great time and still talk about it to this day. The 2017 event is just under a month away, and there is still time to register!

Like last year, teams of 6 (or less) will tackle a marathon’s-worth of miles going between some of Portland’s best breweries. While this year’s locations are still a secret (it’s part of the excitement to not know where to run next until arriving at the preceding location!), it has been announced that the start will be at Rogue Eastside (formerly the Green Dragon). Last year we started and finished at Ecliptic followed by:

  • Basecamp
  • Portland Brewing
  • Green Dragon/Rogue Eastside
  • Lucky Labrador
  • Old Town
  • and back to Ecliptic

Samples may be given at each stop, but remember to pack your ID, extra money/cards for payment along the way (especially when your leg(s) is complete!

Here is some of what we had to say about our experience last year:

Having run the Gorgeous Series’ touchstone event, The Gorgeous Relay itself, twice, I was very familiar with Base Camp Brewing, since it serves at the finish line of that event. Matt, Rachel, Teresa, and I had a little time to relax in the bar before Geli was due, and my teammates sampled some of the beers on offer, including a S’more version that came to Teresa complete with a small toasted marshmallow.

Because of the nature of the course, there were runners on Legs 1 and 3 coming back along the course in the opposite direction. It contributed to a great atmosphere of support and camaraderie among the various teams. Although I like to race and compete, the fact that the Gorgeous Portland Pub Relay was an untimed fun relay allowed us to relax and enjoy the day. I ran my leg in a gear somewhere between tempo training pace and race pace, and everyone seemed to be having fun and leaving the stress of a typical race behind.

For having this be my first actual relay race, I have to say I had a blast. It was great to be able to visit some brew pubs I had never visited before and also great to be able to spend time with my awesome teammates. The race wasn’t timed, which normally isn’t my cup of tea, but in this case, it really made the day feel more laid back. I especially loved the super cool finishers medals we received at the end of it all.

Given that their breweries are expected to change from year to year (as they did from year 1 to 2), and the course maps being kept a secret until at the exchange points, this is an event that will seemingly stay fresh and unique as long as they keep putting it on. If you go into this event with a relaxed and open mind, you will definitely enjoy your day.

Once again, teams will need to provide a volunteer or chip in for an additional $100 to support JOIN and one will be provided for you. While registration is still open, there is a mandatory Captain’s meeting/packet pick-up May 7th. Race entry will include a shirt, medal, and pint glass (duh).

Gorgeous Portland Pub Relay
When: 11am
Where: Start and Finish at Ecliptic Brewing
Register: Online here;

5-6 Runners = $390
3-4 Runners = $260
2 Runners = $130
Solo = $65

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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