Editor’s note: Call destinations before you visit to make sure they’re open. Stay posted on what Oregon’s phased reopening means for you, and follow these steps for social distancing outdoors. Also, remember to bring your face covering, required for all of Oregon’s public indoor spaces and outdoors when keeping 6 feet of distance isn’t possible. Here’s what to know about Oregon’s outdoors right now.
Running races may be canceled for the time being, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your marathon dreams. Races of all distances are going virtual in 2020, and both casual and elite runners across the United States are embracing it.
You may not feel the same adrenaline rush as on race day with a crowd, but you’ll still get your fitness in, entry fees are lower, and there’s no hassle to park or pick up your swag bags on race day since you’ll be running on your own, in your own neighborhood or another spot close to home. Finishers will even earn a T-shirt or medal to proudly display in real life.
The icing on the cake of course is knowing you’re helping to support these annual fundraisers, which benefit a variety of worthy organizations either working on a local or global scale. You can help support the environment or battle cancer and still wear a silly costume while doing it. Here’s what Oregon has on tap for virtual races in 2020.
Oktoberfest (Sept. 16-20, 2020): Bust out your lederhosen or dirndl (German dress) and running shoes for a 5K, 10K or half-marathon to celebrate Oktoberfest. At a park in Mt. Angel or at any location of your choice close to home, Each adult entry earns a free beer or glass of wine, to be redeemed at the modified Oktoberfest event in Mt. Angel, celebrating its 55th year.
Save the Bee (Sept. 18-21, 2020): This 5K, 10K or half-marathon has you joining the global Save the Bee initiative to raise funds to support research and education to ensure the future of honey bees, which pollinate 80% of the world’s food crops and are endangered due to pesticide use and other problems. Prizes are awarded for the best bee-themed costumes for adults, kids and pets; Eugene residents may participate on the courses at Alton Baker Park or Ruth Bascom Bike Trail.
Pink Sox Run/Walk to Live (Sept. 24-27, 2020): Sponsored by Soroptimist International Clubs of Eugene and Junction City, this annual 5K and 10K run/walk provides emergency cash grants to Lane County women who are having financial hardship while undergoing cancer treatment. Choose to run at Alton Baker Park in Eugene or at a location of your choice close to home.
Spirit of Oregon (Oct. 4, 2020): Run the entire state of Oregon over a 3-month period and support a handful of great charities benefiting healthy kids, pets and families in the Salem region. Sign up for the half marathon, 10K, 5K or kids’ half-mile and tackle the socially distanced course, which starts and ends at the Oregon State Capitol. Finishers get a tech shirt, medal, food, beer, wine and music from all seven regions of Oregon.
Great Columbia Crossing (Oct. 11-17, 2020): Participants won’t get to run or walk across the Astoria-Megler Bridge this year, but everyone is still encouraged to conquer their own bridge, whatever that may be. Make your comeback from an injury, discover a new scenic trail, run your first event, or challenge yourself to a PR or longer distance. The 37-year-old event is a fundraiser for the Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce.