Update: The 2018 Dirty Half is sold out. Check out SuperFit’s Facebook page for updates on a waiting list.
June is fast approaching and with it comes one of Bend’s premier trail races, the Dirty Half. Located out on the Phil’s trail system, the race will run the same direction as last year to comply with directional trails out at Phil’s. Unlike most other events, this is a single distance race, with only the half marathon offered. However, this race draws no less than 500 runners every year and it is not uncommon to see several pro runners turn out, including Max King and Mario Mendoza, to drop some very fast times.
Having run this race twice myself, the course is fantastic, with lots of up and down, rolling, switchback, single track trails. Total elevation gain is just over 1,000 feet with nearly as much loss, and with the exception of the first 1/4 mile and the last 1/4 mile, the entire race is on dirt.
A definite perk of this race is the after-party at Ruff Wear. Because the race starts at 7am (first wave), the morning is still nice and cool when you finish (typically). Hanging out after you finish let’s you experience live music, a beer garden, pizza from Mondo Pizza, a bounty of other foods and snacks and the chance to chat it up with hundreds of other runners, who pour into Bend from all over Oregon, as well as other parts of the country. SuperFit Productions and Dave Thomason always do such an amazing job of organizing their races, including course maintenance, volunteer staffing, aid stations, post-race swag and an awesome runner’s atmosphere.