Monday, January 4, 2016

Favorite Trail Half Marathons in Oregon

For many of us, a new year marks the beginning of a new race schedule with dozens of races to choose from. Here are three stunningly beautiful trail half marathons from June to November that my friends and I love.

Timberline--Timothy Lake, early June. First, I should mention that the "half marathon" is actually 14.4 miles, so don't be alarmed if your time is much slower than usual. The single-track course follows the shoreline of Timothy Lake with breathtaking views of the lake and Mt. Hood. It's mostly flat on easy terrain at 3,000 feet. You can also sign up for the marathon, which loops around the lake twice.

Haulin' Aspen--Bend, early August. At 5,500 feet, this is a lung-buster, but Central Oregon is so beautiful, it's worth it. Plus, Bend is such a great place to play in the summer, or year-round for that matter. They have changed the course since we ran it, but I hear it's wonderful. There is also a marathon and a 6.5-mile race.

Silver Falls--Silver Falls State Park, first weekend in Nov. I absolutely love this run. Sometimes it falls on my birthday--what a gift to be able to run with waterfalls! It's a challenging course with steep climbs on single-track trails after the first paved mile. The race fills fast, so register early. Organizers also offer a 50K ultra, marathon and 7-mile race.

One of many waterfalls on the course

First mile before hitting the trail