To say that Sunriver, the location of Pacific Crest Sports Festival, is gorgeous is an understatement. Located in central Oregon, approximately 20 minutes from Bend, this vacation villiage offers a myriad of recreational opportunities for outdoor recreational enthusiasts. During the winter it is packed with skiers, snowboarders, and snowshoers who make the short drive up to Mt. Bachelor, while the summer brings runners, cyclists, mountainbikers, kayakers, and stand up paddle boarders.
The Pacific Crest Sports Festival capitalizes on all that the area has to offer with a weekend packed with a race for all abilities and vices. Rather bike than run? Rather stick a fork in your eye than swim? Duathalons, triatholons of all distances, pure cycling events, marathon, half-marathon, 10k, and kids fun runs are all available throughout the weekend. One would think that with all this activity chaos might ensue, but on the contrary, this was one of the most organized races I have ever run in. All race staff and volunteers were friendly and helpful, the course was meticulously marked, and the trails and paths accommodated the masses.
I opted for the half-marathon this year. The race began in the epicenter of Sunriver, at The Village, a retail and restaurant plot. The course weaves through the vacation homes on primarily paved paths and roadways. The course is flat, with a few minor rolling hills (very minor), though the race is at altitude with the Pacific Crest mantra stating “Sea level is for sissies”.
Did I mention it was gorgeous?
Because it was gorgeous.
And the medal could double as a coffee cup coaster.
This is truly a race worth traveling for, especially for out of state runners. There is so much to enjoy about this part of the state, and excellent food and microbrews as a reward for your efforts in Bend afterwards. If you go, try to either rent a house in Sunriver (available in all sizes), stay at the lodge, or for the Oregon camping experience, stay in my family’s favorite camping ground at Elk Lake. This offers “A” frame cabins with beds and bunks (no running water), or tent camp sites at a gorgeous mountain lake.
As far as my finish time goes, despite having a cold, this momma finished in under 2:00. For my next race, I will be running as an official pacer for the Run the Rogue Half-Marathon here in Medford. I’ll be pacing the 1:50 group on a flat and fast course, and am very much looking forward to pushing some of my amazing Southern Oregon Runners club members across the finish line.
Make your day great!