by Sachleen Sandhu, guest community blogger
The Birds of Prey Half Marathon is back again after a year off. This is the fourth year of this great half which supports the local Stevenson High School Cross Country Team. Proceeds from the race support the team’s travel and gear expenses, which is really important because the SHS XC team, after a 15-year hiatus, started up again just a few years ago, in 2014. And if you sign up online, it’s only $30!
This is a trail half marathon, but not too challenging for an enjoyable day exploring the trail. The course starts out on the paved trails in North Bonneville, Wash., then runs along some grass trails and then some actual trails. There are many rollers along the course and one impressive climb near mile 7, with an accompanying decline. The course is open for five hours, so it’s also a good option for those trying their first half marathon. The website says it all (much more eloquently … ):
Travel along the majestic riverside trails of Strawberry Island while taking in some of the most awe inspiring geological eye candy ever created. The race starts on the quaint paved pathways of the town of North Bonneville, WA before transitioning into well manicured grass trails and gritty terrain that will bring back the nostalgia of cross country courses of yesteryear (before they were all on golf courses). Old meets new when the race makes its way towards the modern marvel of engineering that is Bonneville Dam before doubling back for one last tour of simple mountain living on your way to the final finishing chute. Enjoy the scenery, enjoy the course and enjoy the people as we present what may truly be the last affordable half-marathon in existence. All proceeds go to the expenses incurred keeping a high school cross country program up and running with gear and travel. Did we mention it was cheap?
This will be my 3rd year running this race and I especially like it because it’s cheap, for a good cause, and one of the few races that takes you off road for half the race. You get great views of the gorge running the trails along the Columbia river towards the Bonneville dam before turning back towards the town. The second half of the run winds around the neighborhood and golf course on a paved, mostly shaded, path. Overall, it’s a beautiful mix of rugged and smooth that makes this race exciting.
When: Saturday, April 14, 2018
What time: 9a
Where: North Bonneville Park Pavillion in North Bonneville, Wash.
Register: The race fee is $30 online or $40 day of registration. Online registration closes Friday, April 13 at 2:59PM.