Race Preview: 2018 Bend Marathon and Half (with 10K and 5K)


The course, the race directors, the swag…every year we fall deeper in love with the Bend Marathon and Half (also with 10K and 5K options). This year’s event will be held on Sunday, April 22nd – and because Bend is the mecca for all things outdoors and any excuse to spend some time there is worth finding, we’ll be at the starting line again this year! We are excited to experience this great event again…plus to check out what’s new for 2018!

Run Oregon’s editor-in-chief ran the inaugural event back in 2015 and was “blown away”. You can read more of his recap here but some of his highlights are below:

“This was absolutely perfect race course in my opinion. While there are other half marathons in the Bend area, this event was billed as the first that took place entirely within the downtown Bend limits. And it delievered on everything I was hoping it would be.”

“We crossed back over the river on Portland Ave. and headed for downtown for my favorite part of the race. Wall St., the main drag in Bend, is always packed. There are a ton of great restaurants, shops, Tower Theater, and the Deschutes County Library that make parking a nightmare and has traffic flowing throughout the day. To have it closed off completely to traffic, and lined only with cheering pedestrians and an aid station, literally gave me chills. It’s not too often that the busiest and most popular street in town is completely shut down for a race. Super cool.”

“We finished up again in the sidewalks flanking Drake Park and the glistening Deschutes was guiding us to the finish. As we made our way up the last little climb, so many spectators were cheering, ringing bells, and giving high-fives, that it almost felt like we were being showcased. And I guess in some sense we were.”

“It is the only race I have ever ran in where I couldn’t believe just how fast each mile was coming up. With everything going on, I completely lost track of time along the way.”

“Trust me, this is the latest addition to YOUR “Running Bucket List”. You won’t regret it. Prepare to be blown away.”

The race will start and finish at the iconic Drake Park in downtown Bend. The marathon course is newly designed to feature some miles on a new paved trail through the Deschutes National Forest, paralleling the Cascade Lakes Highway. All of the routes, per usual, will feature parks, water views, and the beautiful city of Bend. More about the routes, including some photos and interactive maps, can be found here. There will be aid stations approximately every 2-3 miles on course with Skout nutrition, energy gels, gummy bears, water, and electrolyte drinks.

All of the courses are relatively flat (and the 5K is family friendly!), so don’t let the high country desert air get in the way of an early season PR!

Also new for 2018 is nutrition sponsor Skout Backcountry‘s Finish Party featuring music, snacks, smoothies, beer, photo area, finish booths (including FootZone of Bend) and other vendors…plus bring some cash for some post-race grub from Longboard Louie’s!

 Sunday, April 22, 2018
Start Times:

  • Marathon starts at 7:00 am
  • Half Marathon starts at 8:30 am
  • 10k starts at 9:00 am
  • 5k starts at 9:15 am
  • All races Start and Finish on Brooks Street, next to Mirror Pond Parking Lot

Price (increases on April 3): Full = $115 | Half = $99 | 10K = $65 | 5K = $35 (under 12 run for free!)

Registration includes:

  • All registered full & half marathon runners will receive a long sleeve tech shirt and 10k and 5k (ages 13+) runners will receive a short sleeve shirt. Youth shirts are available for purchase for the free Family 5k under 12 runners. You can also purchase other sweet Bend Marathon merch here.
  • All finishers receive a truly awesome medal (including kids running free!), a Humm Kombucha, a Jamba Juice, and 21+ runners also receive a beer from Deschutes Brewing (Run Bend, Drink Bend!)!

Register online here, visit the website’s FAQ page for where to stay/eat/drink while in Bend plus other race day rules and info, and finally, be sure to follow the Bend Marathon on Facebook for the most up-to-date info as race day approaches! See you there!

About Author

Bobi Jo has lived all over the midwest but moved to Portland in 2007 and now calls it home. She started casually running in 2012 and trained up for the "Run Like A Mother" 5k as her first proper event. She got a taste of the runner's high and is now a veteran ultrarunner. While running is her favorite sport, she is a "Jill of all trades, master of none" - her other hobbies include rock climbing, hiking, skiing, mountain biking, snowshoeing, and traveling the world. On her elusive rest days, she is an avid bookworm and a Green Bay Packers fan.

%d bloggers like this: