Oregon runners aren’t afraid to get down and dirty for love of their sport. While Portland has been called the No. 1 Running Town in the U.S., and Eugene holds tight to the moniker of Track Town, our foot races get people in touch with the heart and soul (and the rivers, lakes, mountains and wineries) of the state.

Take the Mt. Hood Scramble, known as the Grandfather of Filth, which happens on June 19. In its 16th year, this six-mile race isn’t a “pansy-ass front avenue” run nor a “wussy boy trail run.” Organizers promise creeks, rocks, hills and mud. For more scrambling, try the McCubbin’s Gulch Scramble (July 17) near Dufur or the Warrior Dash (Sept. 10-11) at Horning’s Hideout in North Plains.

You’ll find a more civilized scene at the Fueled by Fine Wine Half Marathon in Dundee (July 10). This 13.1–miler, co-sponsored by the Dundee Hills Wine Growers Association, takes place in the heart of Willamette Valley wine country. The course meanders through the region’s premier vineyards. At the after-party, runners will enjoy some of the areas best pours. The Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon on Sept. 4 takes off from Stoller Vineyards and winds through the Yamhill Valley, finishing in the town of Carlton with a wine and music festival.

If you are going for iconic, put these signature Oregon runs on your bucket list:

Office Max Hood to Coast Relay: The Mother of All Relays is in its 30th year. The annual quest from Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood to the coastal town of Seaside. It’s all about hardworking teams of 12, 197 miles, 15,000 runners and lots of snacks. (And has its own movie. Aug 26-27).)

Timberline Marathon and Half Marathon: This scenic course circumnavigates a pristine alpine lake under the gaze of Mt. Hood (June 4-5).

Portland Marathon: Ever popular with first time marathoners, the Portland Marathon will celebrate its 40th anniversary on Oct. 9. Last year, the race sold out in July, so if you are serious: Just do it!

Other standouts include the Lostine River Run 5k, 10K or 1-miler located in beautiful Wallowa County (July 2), and the Bend Haulin’ Aspen — Trail Marathon, Half Marathon and seven-miler— because it is fun say (Aug. 7).

For more Oregon Adventure, check out our Outdoors Site…

About the Author: Eileen Garvin

Eileen Garvin is the editor of Travel Oregon’s Seasonal Features, enewsletters and annual visitor guide. When she’s not cooking up trip ideas, Oregon Dreamer profiles and outdoor adventures to write about, she’s out exploring Oregon.

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  1. Jae says…

    What a great list! Let’s add one more…for its first year in Oregon, The Mud Run (http://www.theoriginalmudrun.com/mud-run-portland) makes its debut at Sherwood Forest on June 18. Gloriously messy!
    ~Jae, Your Travel Advocate

    Written on May 19th, 2011 / Flag this Comment
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