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Races to look out for in 2018!

There are hundreds of races in Oregon and SW Washington – literally – and there are many that we love. The list below is just a sampling of some of the races nearest and dearest to the hearts of Run Oregon bloggers.

January:

  • White River Snowshoe Race (1/14)
    • This race is super unique, an 8k and 4k snowshoe ONLY event on the east side of Mt. Hood. It looks beautiful, amazing, and challenging – all rolled into one. – Matt
  • Cascade Half Marathon and 10k (1/14)
    • Not only is this one of flatter half marathons in Oregon, it’s one of only a handful in the first part of the year. If you’re aiming for a solid baseline to start off a fast 2018, this is a great place to record one. – Kelly

February:

  • 50th Annual Zena Road Runs (2/18)
    • 50 years! This West Salem event runs in winery-filled hills in rural Polk County. The 3 & 6 milers are out-and-backs on rolling hills and the 15k is a large loop with a killer climbing start. – Matt
  • Three Capes Marathon Relay (2/24)
    • This is a one day coastal marathon relay that will give you breath-taking views of the Three Capes Scenic Loop (Cape Meares, Cape Lookout, and Cape Kiwanda.) Very challenging but worth the journey. -Nikki
  • Run Your Tutu Off 5k (2/17)
    • This race has been really popular the past few years, mainly because it’s just plain fun, but also because it benefits a non-profit. It’s run in Corvallis and is only $25/person and $20 with a student ID. – Kelly

March:

  • Alsea Falls Spring Fling Trail Run (3/17)
    • Alsea Falls is a hidden gem, and Oregon Trail Runs is as well. This trail event is no joke, but also super rewarding. – Matt
  • Lucky Clover 5k/5k/10k (3/17)
    • This race is really unique because it offers two 5k options, one on trail and one on road; and a 10k option that combines both the 5k courses. Best of all registration is only $20. This race is at Dorris Ranch Park in Springfield. – Kelly

April:

  • Cottage Grove Half Marathon (4/7)
    • Oregon Trail Runs puts on this event as well, a point-to-point event that is a continual and gradual downhill to the finish in downtown Cottage Grove. – Matt
  • ORCC Vernonia Marathon & Half Marathon (4/15)
    • If you’re looking for a race that’s off the beaten path (no traffic for 23 miles!!) and gives you the benefits of paved trails surrounded by lush trees, consider trying this race along the Banks-Vernonia State trail. One of my personal faves and a pancake breakfast will follow. -Nikki
  • Falcon 15k Relay, or 5k, 10k, and 15k individual options (4/21)
    • This race raises money for the wonderful Liberty Fit program, and offers runners a choice of being on a three-person relay (everyone completes a 5k), or running a solo race of 5k, 10k, or 15k. The course is a 5k loop, so those running 10k or 15k will complete multiple loops. Registration for this Hillsboro race is $30 and includes an amazing lunch. There’s also a free kids race. – Kelly

May:

  • Smith Rock Ascent (5/12)
    • If you haven’t ran at Smith Rock before, what are you waiting for?! Go Beyond puts on amazing races, and this will be one to not miss. – Matt
  • Girls on the Run 5k (5/19)
    • Not to exclude the boys, but this race is one I would recommend any woman do at least once if only for the priceless experience of being front row and center in an epic adventure for a young girl. Become a running buddy and make a difference to a girl in elementary school completing her very first 5k. -Nikki
  • Banks Linear Trail Run 5k/10k (5/19)
    • At only $20, this is a great price for a fast and flat race. Funds help support the technology program at Banks Elementary School, and the course makes use of the flat sidewalks in Banks, the Vernonia-Banks Trail, and finishes on the track at Kelly Field. – Kelly

June:

  • Bend Beer Chase (6/2)
    • Beer and Bend go together like peanut butter and jelly. Toss in some running to that recipe and you can’t go wrong. Head over the Cascades and relay / drink on a summer day. – Matt
  • Dirty Half (6/10)
    • This was my first trail half, and it’s pretty spectacular singletrack on trails outside of Bend. Register by March 30 for just $40. – Kelly
  • Canby 5k/10k (6/16)
    • Flat 5k and 10k in Canby, between Portland and Salem. Great for families! – Geli

July:

  • Butte to Butte 10k (7/4)
    • Even if you don’t live in Eugene, the Butte to Butte 10k is worth the drive. It’s a fun course and draws a good crowd of runners and walkers of all stripes. – Kelly
  • Gorgeous Wine Country Relay (7/15)
    • The inaugural invite-only event occurred just this past summer. It will be open to the masses now, and the folks at Gorgeous Series will tweak this event to be top-notch – as are all their races. – Matt
  • Mt. Hood 50 (7/14-15) Beautiful singletrack along the Pacific Crest Trail, views of Mt. Hood, and truly stellar race organization, the Mt. Hood 50 is a trail runner’s dream. You can choose from a 25k, 50k, or 50M (or be truly hardcore and do the 50-50 for a really epic weekend). If you’re looking for an “easy” 50k, this one is such a good intro, as it’s non-technical and extremely runnable. One of my favorites! – Bobi Jo

August:

  • ORRC Dual Duel (8/1)
    • This unique race gives teams of 2 a chance to take turns hammer out 10 miles’ worth of consecutive 400-meter intervals. It’s like no other race in Portland … or anywhere else, for that matter. – Kelly
  • Run for the Oaks (8/4)
    • This event is held at Left Coast Winery in rural Polk County (near Rickreall and 20 minutes from Salem and McMinnville). The vineyards are beautiful and the course is a definite challenge – a perfect reason to celebrate with wine. – Matt

September:

  • Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon (9/2)
    • Destination Races returns with this event that starts in Dayton and finishes with a wine-tasting festival in Carlton. A must-do! – Matt
  • ORRC Greenway Trail Trial (9/3 – Labor Day)
    • Run Oregon’s own Abby Meek and I are the race directors for this 5-participants-at-the-start-line-at-a-time 10k that runs on the Fanno Creek Trail in Beaverton. – Kelly
  • Bridge of the Goddess 10k & Half Marathon (9/15)
    • This is a women’s race in one of the most beautiful places in Oregon. Last year the event had to to be moved due to the fires in Hood River, but this year it should be back where it began, on the Bridge of the Gods. Run With Paula races never disappoint and the course for this race is gorgeous. -Nikki

October:

  • Fast on Flat (10/6)
    • This is a new race by Uberthons that is designed to be…fast and flat…at Portland International Raceway! – Matt
  • Gorgeous Oregon Coast Relay (10/6)
    • Another Gorgeous Series race that will premiere officially after the invite-only trial run last year, this one day relay starts in front of the Astoria column with gorgeous views of the city below and finishes in Cannon Beach. This race is a beautiful adventure and there’s even some running on the beach. I can’t wait to to do this one again next year. -Nikki
  • Red Lizard Stumptown Cross Country Series (Multiple Dates)
    • Cross-country is a different type of race. Mud, grass, and spikes are all part of the fun at these competitive-yet-supportive races, varying in distance from 5k to 10k. Watch the race website for registration to open in late summer 2018. (Series sometimes starts the last weekend in September.)

November:

  • Run the Rock (11/11 & 12)
    • This is another event at Smith Rock State Park, put on by a relatively new running company – Alpine Running. They are keeping things long with a 50-miler, 50k, and half marathon. This should be a fun and challenging winter event in Central Oregon. – Matt
  • Mosier Twin Tunnels Runs (Thanksgiving)
    • Keep an eye out on the Mosier School District’s website to see if the Mosier Twin Tunnels Race will take place again in 2018. It’s a low-cost fund raiser that comes with enough hills to give you more than enough “room” to go to town at Thanksgiving Dinner! – Kelly

December:

  • HO HO 5K (12/2)
    • This holiday-themed event is pretty much a staple. Costumes are aplenty and there is lots of fun to be had at Cook Park in Tigard. – Matt
  • PRC Winter 5k Series (Date TBD)
    • Sign up for three races for only $75 and run the same Beaverton 5k course in December, January, and February. Remember, “Never Let Winter Win!” – Kelly
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About Nikki Mueller (234 Articles)
I'm a mother of two boys who is a certified group exercise instructor for Baby Bootcamp in SW Portland. I have two young boys and am actively involved in their co-operative preschool. I led a relatively inactive life throughout my 20's until I discovered the world of fitness and running. I ran my first marathon in 2006 and haven't looked back since.

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