There are lots of races that call themselves “Mini Marathons”, but in most cases the race has very little to do with the actual distance of a marathon aside from being much shorter. The great thing about the Monmouth Mini Marathon (a 4th of July tradition for almost 50 years) is that the name really means something, since the race is almost exactly 1/10th as long as an official marathon, at 2.6 miles. Not only is the name appropriate and the distance creative, but the course itself makes sense, with a logical start and finish. The point-to-point race starts in front of Monmouth City Hall and finishes in front of the library in Independence.
Any course shorter than a 5k will be relatively fast, but the Monmouth Mini Marathon also boasts a slightly downhill course with only two turns, so expect to rack up some speedy splits (and of course a PR if this is your first time running a true “mini marathon”.) The race precedes the Western Days 4th of July Parade, which follows the same route, so you can also look forward to an extra adrenaline boost from the enthusiastic spectators lining the street and cheering you on.
All finishers will receive a medal (larger than 1/10th the size of a marathon medal, unless you’re talking about this marathon!), as well as snacks and drinks. As with a full-sized marathon, overall winners and winners of each five-year age group will be posted online and printed in the local newspaper following the race. Because of the parade, there will be no on-site awards ceremony.
This has been one of my favorite Independence Day races, with a fun atmosphere, a fast course, and great organization. Here are a couple tips: Try to park somewhere halfway along the course, so you have a mini warmup to the start and a mini cool down back to your car after the race (just be careful of being blocked in by the parade). And since the race begins at 11:30a, you can easily find a race earlier in the morning and make it a double. The Stayton Old Time Fun Run would be a good choice, for example (see below)!
What: 48 Annual Monmouth Mini Marathon
When: Thursday, July 4th
Where: In front of Monmouth City Hall, 151 West Main Street, Monmouth, OR, 97361
What time: 11:30a
Registration: $20 online (+$2.50 online fee) through 6/30, or print out an entry form and send it in. You can also register in person on July 3rd from 11:00a to 6:00p at Anytime Fitness, 1369 Monmouth St. in Independence, or on race morning from 8:00a to 10:30a behind Monmouth City Hall.
I haven’t run the Stayton Old TIme Fun Run, but it looks like a blast (no fireworks pun intended.) With three race distances (3k, 5k, and 10k) to choose from, there really is something for everyone, and racers, fun-runners, and walkers are all encouraged. And it’s only $10! The 3k sticks to the roads, but the 5k and 10k courses include a mixture of pavement and cross-country trail, promising a nice change of pace (whoops another pun!) from the usual road-only course.
The race is part of Stayton’s 4th of July Festival, so plan to stick around for the parade and other fun activities (unless you’re heading to Monmouth for the Mini Marathon.) The top female and male finishers will receive ribbons, and there will be a raffle for prizes from Gallagher Fitness Resources. The most patriotically dressed runner will also win a prize, so break out the red, white, and blue!
If you’re staying for the festival, consider pre-ordering a pancake breakfast from the Stayton High School Eagles when you sign up for the race. Pancakes, sausage, eggs, juice, and coffee for only $7.00, with all proceeds going to support the class of 2020’s senior event.
An Independence Day fixture since 1983, the Stayton Old TIme Fun Run is a classic summertime community event.
What: Stayton Old Time Fun Run
When: Thursday, July 4th
Where: Stayton Community Center, 500 W Burnett St. (Off 1st St.)
What time: 9:00a
Registration: $10 through June 25th, $15 after June 26th. Register online, or download a cool old-fashioned paper entry form. Race day registration will be available at the Stayton Community Center from 7:30a to 8:30a.