The best kind of “beer goggles”: A Run Oregon preview of the 2018 Gorgeous Portland Pub Relay

One of the most fun one-day relays I have ever done is the Gorgeous Portland Pub Relay, which is back in town on May 19, 2018. While it combines my two favorite hobbies – running and drinking craft beer – it is also great to have a one-day relay that doesn’t require driving forever get to. This event will traverse the Rose City with handoffs taking place at 6 of Oregon’s best breweries!

Here is some of what we had to say about our experience in 2016:

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.

This year’s event starts at Stormbreaker Brewing on Mississippi Ave (read about some Stormbreaker brews here). The course is actually always a surprise until race day – making each leg almost a scavenger hunt to the next location. At each exchange, a map will be given to the next location! This year the leg distances vary from 3.78 to 5.4, and though the locations aren’t listed, you can see the distances here.

Like year’s passed, teams will need to provide a volunteer or chip in for an additional $100 to support JOIN and one will be provided for you (make your decision by 4/28). Also make sure you know that the mandatory Captain’s meeting/packet pick-up is May 6th from 4-530pm at Foot Traffic in SE.. Race entry will include a shirt, medal, and pint glass (duh). Each participant will receive a shirt (if registered by 4/22), pint glass, sampling at all the breweries, and a finisher’s party and beer at Stormbreaker at the end.

This is such a down-to-earth and fun one-day relay! If you like beer and running (or know someone who does), this one is worth your while. It’s a great opportunity to traverse the city, drink some beers with friends, and still be home in time for dinner (for most of us at least). The Gorgeous Series puts on great events and this one is a blast!

Gorgeous Portland Pub Relay
When: Waves start at 11am (Start times will be emailed to Team Captains 4/28/18)
Where: Start and Finish at Stormbreaker Brewing
Register: Online here;

5-6 Runners = $450
3-4 Runners = $300
2 Runners = $150
Solo = $75

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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