The first thing I learned about Southern Oregon was that Ashland hosts an annual Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The second thing I learned was when I traveled to that very festival: Southern Oregon is gorgeous. I had imaged some urban sprawl escaping from California, and instead wound through mountains and fields that left me feeling like I was the only person for miles. It’s in that beautiful wilderness that the Rogue Marathon makes its course.
A rare point-to-point course, runners and walkers have marathon, half marathon, and 10K distances to choose from (plus a Kids’ 1-Mile run in the finishing area). Everyone starts at the finish line (to check out the party to come) and then shuttles to their starting line. The courses for all three distances overlap one another, with the marathon starting the farthest (of course) at Emigrant Lake. (Nikki and Kelly checked out the running routes around Ashland earlier this summer and Emigrant Lake was one trail they loved.) Further along, Bear Creek Greenway provides much of the pathway for the course. And since this race is overall downhill, you’ll be getting back to that finish line before you know it.
Speaking of finish line, let’s talk about the after-race party. All finishers receive a shirt and medal after crossing that final line. Participants also get pre- and post-race food and a complimentary beer. The top three male and female finishers overall win cash prizes ($200, $100, $50 for first, second, third, respectively). So, getting over the river and through the woods has lots and lots of benefits.
“Now bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible.” – Julius Caesar
When: Saturday, October 12. Marathon at 7:10am. Half Marathon and 10K at 8:10am. Kids 1 Mile at 10:30am.
Where: Jackson County EXPO (1 Peninger Road)
Packet Pick-Up: Friday, October 11 4-8pm at Common Block Brewing Company (315 E 5th Street) or Race Day starting at 6am at the finish line (before shuttle buses).
Cost: Marathon for $95. Half Marathon for $60. 10K for $45. Kids 1 Mile for $20