Oregonians don’t need the excuse of a New Year’s resolution to lace up their running shoes. Running is in our DNA. Home to Nike, TrackTown USA (aka Eugene), and the 2020 Olympic Track and Field Trials and World Athletics Championships in 2021, our running culture is celebrated statewide. We invite you to run with us. Here’s a look at just some of the more than 600 dashes, trots and full-on marathons held around the state.
Got some green running shorts? Then you’re ready for the Dirty Leprechaun 5K and 10K mud races (Tualatin), Shamrock Run (Portland) and St. Patrick’s Day Dash (Bend). While not on St. Patrick’s Day, brews, wines and ciders do await the finishers of Portland’s Bridge to Brews races in April.
Take a spring road trip to Eastern or Central Oregon for one of several races: Butte Challenge (Hermiston), Eastern Oregon Half Marathon (Spray), Ochoco Trail Runs (Prineville) and Smith Rock Ascent (Terrebonne).
If you’re looking to really test yourself, these Oregon cities hold their annual marathons and half marathons in the spring: Bend, Eugene and Newport. Also find spectacular half marathons in these locations: Champoeg State Park, Florence, Hillsboro and Lincoln City, plus the Hop Hop Half Marathon and Cinco de Mayo Half Marathon in Portland.
Celebrate your freedom to run at one of the state’s Independence Day events: Ashland, Beaverton, Central Point, Champoeg State Park, Coos Bay, Eagle Point, Molalla, Monmouth, Monument, Neskowin, Newport, Salem, Stayton, Vale, West Linn and Wilsonville. The Butte to Butte on July 4th run in Eugene holds special meaning as a benefit for the nonprofit Oregon Track Club, supporting programs for youth, University of Oregon track teams and maintenance of Pre’s Trail in Eugene.
Summer is the perfect time to take your running into the wilds of Oregon: Crater Lake Rim Runs & Marathon (Crater Lake National Park), Dam Marathon (Oakridge), Hoodoo Challenge: Run to the Top (Sisters), Lake of the Woods (Klamath Falls), Moon Tree Run (Cave Junction), Steens Rim Run (Frenchglen), Timberline Marathon (Government Camp), Wallowa Lake Triathlon (Joseph), Wild Outback (Paisley), Wild Rogue Relay (Jacksonville) and Wy’east Wonder (Parkdale).
Classic summer events include the Bowerman 5K — named for Nike co-founder and former Olympic and University of Oregon track coach Bill Bowerman — on the Nike campus in Beaverton and the Hood to Coast Relay, which tests teams from the top of Mt. Hood to the Seaside coast. In Portland show your Rose City spirit in the Rose Festival’s Starlight Run.
Kick off the fall season with the Oktoberfest Road Race (Mt. Angel) and Pine to Palm 100 (Williams/Ashland). Grab your costumes for Great Pumpkin Run (Corvallis), Great Pumpkin Zombie 5K (Dayton) and other Halloween-themed runs in Aloha, Ashland, Eugene, Klamath Falls, Parkdale and Vernonia.
We’re big fans of any race that ends with food, including the Tamale Trot in Salem.
Ducks and Beavers go head-to-head in the Oregon Rivalry Run, held in Tualatin. And Coos Bay honors one of its own, University of Oregon star and Olympic champion Steve Prefontaine, in the annual memorial run bearing his name. Other big races in the fall include the Columbia Gorge Marathon and Portland Marathon.
Apparently, Thanksgiving in Oregon is as much about turkey trots as it is turkey, with all these cities holding races: Albany, Baker City, Beaverton, Bend, Central Point, Coos Bay, Corvallis, Eugene, Hillsboro, Keizer, Klamath Falls, McMinnville, Mosier, Newport, Redmond, Salem, Sherwood, Springfield, Tigard and Winston. Portland hosts various Thanksgiving races at the Oregon Zoo, Portland International Raceway and Waterfront Park.
And of course, under the banner of “only in Oregon,” you have the annual Tofurky Trot at Oaks Amusement Park, benefiting local farmers.
Start the year off on the right foot by running on New Year’s Day: Deschutes River Half Marathon (Maupin), First Run 10K & 5K (Eugene), Resolution Run & Walk (Corvallis), New Year’s Day Hangover Run (Salem), New Year’s Day Fat Ass Marathon (Portland) and Resolution Run (Newport).
Our favorite quirky runs for winter: the Run Your Tutu Off 5K (Corvallis), where ballet moves score you extra points, and the Winter Formal 5K (Corvallis), where prom dresses and ruffled tuxes go to die.
When December rolls around, ring in the season with one of the state’s many holiday runs: Jingle Bell Run (Bend, Portland), Jingle Bells Run (Eugene), Jingle Bell Jog (Lincoln City), Jingle Dash (Keizer), Jingle Rush (Cottage Grove), Reindeer Run (St. Helens) and Santa Claws Run (Newport). Or make a holiday fashion statement at one of Oregon’s Ugly Sweater runs (Klamath Falls, Medford, West Linn, Vernonia and Tualatin).