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What to do in Sunriver on Sunriver Half Marathon weekend

It’s crazy to even think that the 2018 Sunriver Half Marathon for a Cause is just a few months away. Before we know it, Labor Day weekend will be upon us and we will be scrambling to pack all of our race gear, along with our clothes and weekly supplies, for the long weekend. This happens to me every year we head to Central Oregon, and without fail we get there and realize that we wish we would planned ahead. There is just so much to do in the Sunriver area, that it’s hard to get to everything and easy to forget. We will preview the race later this summer, but if you are planning to make the trip, here are some things you may want to check out.

The Cove Pool & SHARC

The Cove Pool is right on resort property and is a great location with stuff for swimmers of all ages. There is a decent sized small toddler area, a deeper pool for swimming and wading, and a waterslide for those brave enough. There is also “The Sandlot”, a sandy area where kids can get dirty in the sand and do crafts or build sand castles and other creations. There is a lot of covered area and poolside food and drink service to your seat.

My kids love the SHARC pool area in Sunriver. In fact, we spend most of our non-running free time there as a result. It can be a little pricy if not staying in a partner house rental, but there are water slides, hot tubs, a lazy river, and a small kids area as well. There is also an indoor swimming pool (if you need to get some laps in) and more than 2.5 acres of grass to soak in some rays. Last year the SHARC was closed with the fires and smoke clouding the area, so I know they are even more amped to go this year.

Miles and Miles of Paved Trails

Since many reading this are actually going to be running the event, you will get a good look at wonderful paved trails that snake through the Sunriver area while racing in the events. But the trails are also great for biking as well. Don’t forget to pack your bikes, helmets, and kid buggies to take on hundreds of miles of trails on your “days off”.

Hiking

In addition to the trails at Sunriver, there are also other great hiking and walking options at:

  • Lava Butte at Lava Lands
  • Tumalo Falls
  • Benham Falls
  • Paulina Peak
  • Newberry National Volcanic Monument and Crater Obsidian Trail

The list of great hikes is literally endless, so plan accordingly with hiking shoes and gear (or at least plan a stop at REI in Bend before your trek).

Golfing

It’s hard to even mention Sunriver and not think golf. I am not a golfer at all, though I wish I was every time I see the green fairways and amazing backdrops. Sunriver Resort has a bunch of great golf packages suitable for avid golfers and for novices like me who want to hit the links. Even if you don’t schedule a tee time, runners will still get to hit the course…during the races. Part of the course will be in and around the fairways and greens, so it’s a good opportunity to get yourself familiarized with that dogleg left on 17 before you put $20 up against your father-in-law in a match later that weekend. You. Are Welcome.

Little Woody (Barrel-Aged Beer, Cider & Whiskey Festival)

If you are a beer and cider drinker like me, you will love the 9th Annual Little Woody on August 31st & September 1st. You will need to trek into Bend for this, but it will be well worth your time. It takes place next to the Deschutes Historical Museum in downtown Bend. A basic entry, which includes a commemorative glass is $12. The tasting package will run $15 and includes glass, entry and 8 tokens ($1 each and tastes cost 2-5 tokens each). Maybe just go VIP for $30 and receive a shirt, early admission, glass, and 10 tasting tokens.

Sage Springs Spa

Not much needs to be said about this. I mean, you just ran 26.2 miles – don’t you deserve a nice massage, facial, or other treatment? The answer is yes. And if you signed up for the “Ready to Race” package at Sunriver Resort, you will receive a little discount at the spa.

Sunriver Summer Concert Series

Bring the family, pull up a blanket or low-profile chair and enjoy live music at the Beer Garden! September 1st and 2nd will be the final concert weekend of the summer and feature food and local brews will be offered during the tunes by the Land Commanders.

Outdoor Activities

From fishing and rafting, to paintball and rock climbing, Sunriver has a TON available to do under the desert sky. My 3-year-old is REALLY into horses right now, so a trip to Sunriver Stables is almost certainly in order.

Smith Rock State Park

Though this is actually a bit of a trek (north of Bend), it is truly magical. If you haven’t been before, I HIGHLY recommend taking a day or at least a few hours and head over there. Go earlier in the morning to avoid the summer onslaught of people. If you are brave, strap on your trail shoes and do the relatively short, yet leg-burning, loop. There are other connecting trails that can add miles and miles of running and hiking, and many local races take advantage of this place. But even if you don’t run, it’s a must-do.

Bend Ale Trail

Download the app or pick up a brochure at any one of the 16 participating Bend, Redmond, and Sisters breweries. In each of the tap rooms, there is a barcode for scanning on your phone or a staff member will gladly stamp your paper. If you get stamps from 10 breweries stop by or send your completed passport to the Bend Visitor Center to receive a commemorative Bend Silipint! If you get stamps from all 1​6 breweries you will receive a Bend Ale Trail bottle opener in addition to the Silipint. It’s a great way to sample all of Central Oregon’s great beer.

Also, don’t forget to stop by Sunriver Brewing Company while you are still in town. While this specific location is not on the Bend Ale Trail, they are just up the road from the start line near the Sunriver Country Store, and feature some awesome craft brew options. Check out our Kegs and Legs features on Sunriver Brewing here and here.

Plan for me!

If you don’t want to think about it, head over to the Sunriver Resort page, fill out a few boxes, and let them do the work for you.

Whatever you decide to do, just come out and enjoy yourself in Sunriver this Labor Day! And don’t forget to register for the Race Day Package when you sign up! It includes:

  • Lodging
  • Discounted Race Entry
  • $20 Dining Credit
  • In-room amenities
  • VIP Packet Delivery
  • Discounts at Sage Springs Club & Spa and Merchant Trader Gift Shop
  • Late Check-Out on Sunday 9/02/18

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About Matt Rasmussen (1181 Articles)
Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching the Olympics, sampling craft beers, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010. Matt joined the Run Oregon team in October 2011, and since then he has spearheaded the blog’s efforts to cover product reviews, news about businesses related to running, and running events in the Willamette Valley.

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