Inaugural Bend Marathon & Half Marathon
Events, times, prices:
Marathon, 7:30am, $85-105
Half Marathon, 7:30am, $75-95
Location: Downtown Bend, OR
Number of runners: 300 Marathoners, 1000 Half Marathoners
Swag: Long sleeve tech shirt, hefty mountable bottle opener medal, post-race food and one free beer. High quality souvenir long sleeve 1/4 zip tech shirts were also available for purchase for $65.
Course: Both courses are somewhat hilly and have portions on dirt/gravel trail. Course maps and elevation are available here.
Results: Available here.
Other notes: Pacers were available for the full and half (Beast Pacing).
We rented a cute house in Bend for the weekend, and headed down on Saturday for Sunday's race. On the ride down, I received a facebook message from my friend Elaine that their 3:00 pacer for the half just bailed, and wanted to know if I knew anyone who could step in. It was a lot slower than I'm used to running, but I offered to pace it if they needed me. Elaine forwarded me all the info and it was a done deal. That night I was so anxious... it's a lot of responsibility to pace, and I had always thought if I were to be a pacer, it would be on a course I had run before, at a pace I had practiced. And Beast Pacing's expectation is that you finish less than 1 minute under pace, but not even one second over. It was a little nerve wracking to think about, but I was determined to do my best!
The morning of the race, we found street parking just around the corner from the start line. My friends checked my bag for me since I was meeting up with the pacing group at 7am. It was pretty cold (close to freezing!) at the start, but it quickly warmed up during the race and I had to take off my jacket just a few miles in! I was lucky enough to spend the majority of the race with the 6:00 marathon pacer, and got to know her. The funny thing about being the 3:00 half marathon sweep pacer is that no one wants to run with you. Everyone either tries to stay ahead of you, or tries to keep you in their sights. It's a tough pace to run--slower than I could comfortably run, and faster than I could comfortably walk. I did my best to stay exactly on pace each mile!
I thought the course was BEAUTIFUL and did a nice job of going through a lot of great portions of the city, including downtown Bend (Wall Street), several parks (Farewell Bend Park; Riverbend Park; Drake Park), the Old Mill District, and great views of the Deschutes River. The race directors did a fabulous job of creating a course that will give runners and walkers a great snapshot of all that Bend has to offer. I also loved all of the fabulous volunteers on the course--their energetic cheers helped a lot! There were a few spots on the course that could have used additional signage or people to mark the course, but for the most part the course was very well marked.
My friends were waiting for me as I finished the half with 29 seconds to spare! The medals, which were wall-mountable bottle openers (screws included) and the long sleeve tech shirts were really nice quality and well designed. I also bought one of the souvenir 1/4 sleeve long sleeved tech shirts, which were amazing quality and nice-looking as well. The afterparty was really great: there was bread, bananas, mini Jamba Juices, tons of vendor booths, leg massages, and 10 Barrel beer (one free per person, extra available for purchase!) There was music and cornhole and chairs for people to sit in, and food for sale also. It was nice that there was plenty to do nearby also, since it was situated in downtown Bend.
That evening we also headed to the "AFTER After Party" at Recharge. We weren't really sure what to expect and it wasn't super clear, but the trip was worth it just for another free leg massage! We didn't stay at Recharge for very long, instead opting to continue our quest of going to all of the breweries on the Bend Ale Trail.
The entire weekend was so much fun, and the race was one of my favorite parts. It's definitely on my list for next year! Run Oregon blogger Matt also had a lot of great things to say about the inaugural Bend Marathon & Half--click here to read his race recap.