April 11, 2016

Thanks much to SmithRock.com guest blogger Renee Seker of GoBeyondRacing.com for filling us in on all the running events they have organized here at Smith Rock for May 7 and 8. From ultrarunners to kids just getting into running, there's something for everyone, whether you prefer dirt or pavement. AND the proceeds go to help two great causes. Read on.

A Weekend of Running
by Renee Seker
Trail runners along the Crooked River photo courtesy of Paul Nelson Film and Photography

Runner at Smith Rock State Park
Runner at Smith Rock State Park

If you like technical terrain and climbing, then the Smith Rock Ascent 15-Mile course is right up your alley – you get 360-degree views from the top of Gray Butte.

Are you newer to trail running, or just like the shorter distances? Then the Smith Rock Ascent 4-Mile route will give you tons of views from the top of the rocks.

Do you have young ones? There’s a free kids’ Fun Run that gives the little ones a taste of what mom or dad like to do.

If you a runner, you need to put this one on your race calendar. The Smith Rock Ascent and the Smith Rock Road races are Mother’s Day weekend and offer a course for just about every kind of runner there is – trail and road alike.

If you are an ultrarunner, then the Smith Rock Ascent 50K is a great season opener with lots of miles through the grasslands north of the State Park.

All of the trail races start and finish near the parking lot at Smith Rock State Park.

There’s a post race burrito bar (free for all the runners and volunteers), cold beer and cider, and plenty of space to hang out to enjoy the view while cheering on the racers. All finishers receive a pint glass and there are age group awards as well as a raffle with great prizes from the race sponsors.

The trail race beneficiary is the CORK Youth Program. This is the part of the Central Oregon Running Klub that provides kids ages 5-18 a fun and supportive environment for developmental running.

These programs provide the opportunity for kids of all ages to be involved in running events from games and obstacle courses to participation in the USATF Junior Olympics.

Smith Rock Ascent Finish banner at Smith Rock State Park
Smith Rock Ascent Finish banner at Smith Rock State Park

If you prefer the pavement and you like fast and flat courses, the Smith Rock Road Half Marathon and 10K is perfect. Both distances start and finish in Smith Rock State Park, but head out onto country roads to the south.

There are aid stations every few miles and lots of views of the stunning rock faces and even the snow-capped Cascade Mountains. If you are looking for a personal record, pacers run the half marathon carrying signs so you can go for that time you want.

All finishers earn a race medal and the 5-year age group awards etched pint glasses. Overall winners receive prizes from the great race sponsors.

Moms at Smith Rock Road Half Marathon & 10K Race at Smith Rock State Park
Moms at Smith Rock Road Half Marathon & 10K Race at Smith Rock State Park

Since the race is on Mother’s Day, all mom runners also receive a rose and a special medal when they finish.

We imagine you will have worked up an appetite.

Bagels and oatmeal are served at the finish, along with Deschutes beer and Atlas hard cider. It’s a fun race to run with mom!

The beneficiary of the event is the Redmond High School Track and Cross Country teams. You’ll see several of the kids volunteering at the aid stations out on the course.

There are a lot of running options May 7-8 at Smith Rock State Park. Which will you do?