There are a handful of Oregon races that every runner should run at least once, and the Prefontaine Memorial Run 10K in Coos Bay is near the top of the list! Named for legendary Oregon runner Steve Prefontaine, and taking place in his hometown on one of his favorite training routes, this race is a true classic!
Besides the historical aura surrounding the event, the race itself is very well organized and a high-quality event in its own right. The nicely designed course begins on a wide straight street, then winds along a rolling (okay, hillly!) out-and-back section for the bulk of the miles, before finishing at Steve Prefontaine’s alma mater, Marshfield High School, on the track that now bears his name.
In addition to the classic 10k, the Prefontaine Memorial Run also features a high school 5k with male and female team competition (cross-country style scoring) and trophies for the top three teams. Walkers are also welcome in the 10k and in a 2-mile fun walk. Walkers on both courses will be chipped timed, but timing for the 10k ends at 11:45a (a 1:45 cut-off time). Wheelchair athletes are encouraged in the 10k and will have their own separate start time.
The course is challenging, but that’s as it should be given that the race honors one of running’s toughest competitors. Fittingly, the “Pre” has been a launching pad for several high school runners, like Ian Dobson, who have gone on to elite careers in track and cross-country.
But no matter your age, pace, or the intensity of your competitive spirit, this is a fantastic race that every runner should experience!
When: Saturday, September 15th
Where: Coos Bay, starting at the corner of 4th and Anderson
9:45a – High School Team 5K
9:50a – Wheelchair 10K
10:00a – 10K and 2-Mile Fun Walk
Registration: You can register online or fill out the online form and mail in a check. The 10k and 2-mile walk is $30 for adults through September 11th, and $40 September 12th through the 15th. Participants 18 and under: $15.