Categorized | Marathons, Primary

Review of Smith Rock Sunrise Summer Classic Half Marathon

Posted on 04 May 2011

The Smith Rock Sunrise Summer Classic is traditionally held on the 2nd Saturday in July at Smith Rock State Park a world renowned destination for rock climbers.  The race has been staged for eight years starting in 1995, 1996 and 1997 as a 15K after which we took a break and returned in 2007. In 2009, the event was changed to the Half Marathon format.

The Half Marathon begins at about 6:10 AM as the first rays of morning sun hit the Morning Glory peaks. Check in time begins at 5:15 AM. The average starting time temperature is in the high 40’s and low 50’s. By 9 AM the temperatures can be in the 70’s.

This will be the first year for our Race Director who is an accomplished Triathlete and Ironman competitor. Coach Chad Baker has run the event on several occasions.

Depending on when a registration is received between $30 and $40 USD. Each registrant receives a medal and a complimentary 2lb Breakfast Burrito. Vegetarian Burrito’s are also available. Tech T Shirts are available for purchase for $15 USD.

There is great scenery throughout the course with numerous small farms and ranches and a variety of domestic animals to see plus occasional Deer. The view of Smith Rock from many places on the course and the view as they run back to the Rock and the finish line make this a memorable event. The course is USATF certified and chip timed.

Since we dropped the 15K format in 2009 and added the Half Marathon our numbers have been doubling and last year we had almost 800 participants in all events.

Athletes have primarily been from Oregon, Washington and Northern California. Every year we have runners coming from the East coast and a few from overseas.

The closest airport is Redmond Oregon a Regional airport with good connections through Seattle, Denver, Salt Lake and San Francisco. There are a number of hotels located in Redmond OR and even more in Bend OR which is about a 30 minute drive from the starting line. There are grocery stores available in the area.

We host the Central Oregon Pumpkin Company Rock Race for Kids. This is a free event open to pre – school to 8th grade. The distance is about a mile. We have a face painter, magician and a Blue Grass Band at the event to entertain children of all ages!

The Park has fixed bathroom facilities in addition to 12 – 15, a couple out on the course and at the Half Marathon turnaround. Aid stations are located every two miles on the course with water, energy drinks, Clif Bar gels and blocks at the appropriate aid stations.

The race is out and back and the start and finish line are in the same location.  The course is mostly flat with some rolling hills. Standard training practices apply.

Portions of the course mainly at the start/finish are closed and coned off to traffic. The majority of the course is open road with flaggers stationed at key points. One of our sponsors Gorilla Capital provides large and very visible flag type mile markers. The City of Redmond Motorcycle unit provides us with at least one and often two units to patrol the course. Signage also alerts drivers of runners on the road throughout the course.

Get ready for a beautiful course in a great venue with lots of excited fellow participants. An opportunity to rediscover your senses on a beautiful morning in the high desert and support local charities as well. There is a lot to see and do in Central Oregon on our race weekend such as the Sisters Quilt Show and the Bend Summer Festival.

Photography will be provided by Evan Pilchek Photography. There are a small number of exhibitors at the finish line. As of this time we do not have a real event expo.  We do not have a pre-race meal at this time.

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