Labor Day weekend is coming up – a Road Trip for the Sunriver Half is in order

Labor Day weekend is turning into the Rasmussen family annual trip to enjoy the final fleeting moments of summer in the High Desert at the Sunriver Resort and participating in the Sunriver Half Marathon (10k & 5k) for a Cause. Last year, my 5th participation, I was only able to run the 10k due to travel challenges, but I am happy to once again be heading back for the long race. The race courses for all distances have stayed similar over the years, and with good reason – it’s just a fantastic paved trail race that snakes through golf courses and on those wonderful pedestrian trails that Sunriver is known for.

This race continues to benefit St. Charles Cancer Services, and proceeds from race entries stays in the community and helps individuals who are going through cancer treatment by offering patients “financial assistance through groceries, gas cards, utility assistance and lodging; social workers who support patients through treatment; and integrative therapies including Reiki, acupuncture and massage therapy.” Here is some snippets from last year’s event:

Packet pick-up on Friday netted me a shirt, pint glasses (from both the 2017 and 2018 events), as well as some swag items from Absolut and some discounts at local restaurants and the resort spa. There was also a pre-race concert on the finish lawn that was PACKED with people and had an awesome energy.

While there weren’t a whole lot of deviations from the trails, the course was fantastically marked, from both signs and pink ribbons along the way. There were also a ton of fantastic volunteers that stopped traffic, pointed us in the right direction at any mult-way trails, and offered encouragement along the way. Truly, these volunteers were second to none!

The finish line is, in my opinion, one of the best post-race areas in the state – with amazing views and an intimate feel. Again, from my 2018 recap:

After the race, there was a great post-race spread of snacks and beverages and the lawn area was filled with music, finishers, and people just laying out and enjoying the sunny post-race glory. It was awesome that 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishers for both genders received vouchers for free stays at the Sunriver Resort! This was also true for the 5k and half distances as well, and the top three in the half also received a cash prize!

We are going to be staying at the Sunriver Resort again this year, our third time doing so. While you may be able to find slightly less expensive lodging in Bend (maybe – the hotels there are getting super pricey), the convenience of the location and the ability to spread out in a multi-level room is really great for families. We are going to be updating and reposting some from last year to showcase the “why”, but here are some of our favorite parts about staying there:

  • Steps from the Start and Finish line

This is one of the nicest advantages for staying at the resort. Even staying in a vacation rental necessitated dedicating time in the morning to drive, find parking, and walk to the start, followed by the reverse afterwards when I’m hot, smelly, and tired. We have heard stories about runners who were late to the race and race staff actually parked her car for her as she ran to the join the race. I always have nightmares about this, so I’m happy this will be one year I should be able to sleep soundly. And it also means that my family can have the car while I am out there on the course.

My kids LOVE the pool in Sunriver. In fact, we spend most of our non-running free time there as a result. The pool was updated very recently and looks even more amazing. My wife loves the spa. I figure since I come over for “me” things, she can enjoy a “her” thing. There is also a fitness center within the Spa, as well as lap swimming, and staying at the resort allows access to both these places at no cost.

All-in-all, wherever you stay will be great, as long as you are making it out to this great event. But with all the perks of staying at the Sunriver Resort, I continue coming back. Hope to see you out there at the race, pool, or spa this upcoming Labor Day!

There is even a “Ready to Race” Sunriver Half Marathon lodging package, which includes:

  • Lodging
  • 1PM late check-out on Sunday, September 1st
  • Discounted race entry
  • $20 dining credit
  • VIP race packet delivery to your room
  • Discounts at Sage Springs Club & Spa and Merchant Trader Gift Shop
  • In-room amenity

Follow the event on Facebook here. If you have yet to experience the awesomeness that is the Sunriver Half Marathon for a Cause, don’t delay – you won’t regret it.

When: August 31 – September 1, 2019
Where: Sunriver Resort
Register: Online here;
  • Half – $85
  • 10k – $60
  • 5k – $50
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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