Summer Race Guide

Bike, Run, Stumble, and Jump: Our Guide to 30 Great Summer Races

UFO-themed dashes, ultra-awesome ultras, and scavenger hunts inspired by The Amazing Race—we pick our 30 favorite summer challenges. Mark your calendars—and go!

By Caitlin Collins, Ramona DeNies, and Tuck Woodstock May 3, 2016

Exercise is for every body, and summer is the perfect time to run, walk, bike, and scramble your way across the Pacific Northwest. Whether your speed is century rides and ultramarathons or zombie mud runs and beer miles, this guide holds the details to your next fitness challenge. (Pro tip: many of these events fill up quickly, so don’t forget to register early for a guaranteed spot!)


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That's one way to motivate...

Image: Mud Run Guide

3rd Annual Pirate Zombie Mud Run
Saturday, May 7, Port Angeles, WA
OBSTACLE COURSE—"Come run, walk, or crawl with the undead around Peninsula College Campus, enjoy challenging obstacles, and get a little muddy." This 5K also offers a kids' race, because it's never to early to prep for the apocalypse.

UFO Abduction Dash 5K Run
Saturday, May 14, McMinnville, OR
RUN—Short, sweet, and outta this world. "Wear your best alien head or other original creation, as there will be awards for best costumes." 

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"Drink a beer. Run a mile. Drink a beer. Party."

Ecliptic Beer Mile
Sunday, May 15, Portland, OR
(BEER) RUN—One-mile race beginning and ending at Ecliptic Brewing on Mississippi Ave. All participants receive one free beer before and after the race. Greasing the wheels, and all. Plus, afterparty with music!

Stomp Out Abuse Run
Saturday, May 21, Hillsboro, OR
RUN—10K or 5K. Registration fee provides 15 weeks of free services for a victim of domestic abuse. 

Reach the Beach
Saturday, May 21, Portland and west
BIKE—Choose your starting point—Portland (100mi), Newberg (80mi), Amity (55mi), or Grand Ronde (25mi)—and ride through eight snack and lunch stops to a magnificent beach party with a hearty feast at the finish line. Proceeds benefit lung cancer efforts. 

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Excalibur, guide me to the finish line!

The Friar Trot
Saturday, May 21, Sherwood, OR
RUN—This 11th annual 10K/5K/1 Mile fun run/walk begins on the St. Francis campus, winds through quaint historic Sherwood and Stella Olson Park, and ends with a bang-up afterparty including live music, food, and beer. 

Run on the River
Sunday, May 22, Astoria, OR
RUN—This race offers three distances—5K/10K/Half marathon—with all participants receiving a T-shirt and medal. (Half marathoners also receive complimentary lunch from Buoy Beer Company.) All proceeds fund scholarships for low-income families and individuals to access recreation programs. 


Neon Night Run
Friday, June 3, Corvallis, OR
RUN—Every runner gets glow sticks for this late evening 5K. (Race starts at 9:15pm.) De rigueur: brightly-colored clothing and even more glory gear. 

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Get a Clue
Saturday, June 4, Canby, OR
SCAVENGER HUNT—Inspired by The Amazing Race, teams decipher clues, complete tasks, and find locations / items over the course. 

Twelve Bridges Relay
Saturday, June 4, North Plains, OR
RELAY RUN—This 65-mile, 12-leg running event has your team crossing 12 historical bridges and scaling the full length of the Banks-Vernonia State Trail.

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On tour.

The Oregon Gran Fondo
Sunday, June 5, Cottage Grove, OR
BIKE—The mass-start event—choose a 71- or 117-mile route (Gran Route or Medio)—is styled after such professional grand tours as the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia, with pleasure riders tooling alongside—okay, behind—elite racers and former pro athletes. 

Timberline Marathon
Saturday, June 11, Timothy Lake, OR
RUN— Complete two loops around Timothy Lake at 3,000 feet in the high Cascades with views of Mt. Hood.

Cycle Oregon Joyride
Saturday, June 11, Dayton, OR
BIKE—Celebrating ladies on bikes, this all-women ride traverses Oregon wine country. Cheers!

NUT 100K and 50K
Saturday, June 11, east of Roseburg, OR
Organizers describe the state's newest ultra as a "brutiful" route along the scenic North Umpqua River Trail in Umpqua National Forest. You'll experience 800-year-old trees, waterfalls, and lakes—and sooo many miles of brutalizing singletrack. 

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Ready, set, glow!

Pride Glow Run
Friday, June 17, Portland, OR
RUN— Celebrate Pride by joining in a mob of glowing people for a three-mile Waterfront loop. Bracelets, necklaces, glowing batons, body paint—9:30 pm sees the start of "Portland's sickest night run."

Wicked Wine Run
Saturday, June 25, Dayton, OR
RUN—Race through the vineyards and trails of the Stoller Family Estates Vineyard. 5K run, 1K wine tasting walk. 

World Naked Bike Ride
Saturday, June 25, Portland, OR
BIKE—Yes, this popular annual quadrant-roving bike parade is free, but consider bringing a Tubman or two for donation collectors. The ride originated as a "protest against society's dependency on oil," and that continues today, with a focus on cycling as a sustainable form of transportation. And also, people are naked.

2016 Twilight Run
Saturday, June 25, Tigard, OR
RUN— 5K run racing towards the sunset in the midst of the Tigard Festival of Balloons. Benefits the Foundation for Tigard Tualatin Schools. 


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Foot Traffic Flat
Monday, July 4, Portland, OR
RUN—This Sauvie Island Independence Day classic is, as advertised, pretty damn flat. Distances include a full and half marathon.

Tour des Chutes
Saturday, July 9, Bend, OR
BIKE OR RUN—This multi-event fundraiser for cancer care includes a 5k run/walk and bike rides spanning  25–100 miles of high desert, as well as a kickoff party hosted by Deschutes Brewery. 

The Dirty Dash
Saturday, July 9, Nine Mile Falls, WA
OBSTACLE—Complete with mud pits, slip and slides, and foam baths, this course is guaranteed to get you dirty. 

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Hardcore, man.

Image: Serena Gordon

High Cascades 100
Saturday, July 16, Bend, OR
BIKE—This grueling century features 75 miles of singletrack and gorgeous views of remote Central Oregon wilderness. Just promise us you’ll stay hydrated. 

Pick Your Poison Relay
Saturday, July 23, Hagg Lake, OR
RELAY RUN—This endurance event near Forest Grove requires participants to make critical choices: trail or road, team or solo, and 12 or 24 hours of looping around Hagg Lake. 


Haulin’ Aspen Trail Marathon
Saturday, Aug 6, Bend, OR
RUN— This high-plateau course weaves through Ponderosa pine forests and steep buttes for what Trail Runner magazine calls one of America’s top races. Distances include a full marathon, half-marathon, and 6.5-mile “half-as.”

Portland Century
Saturday & Sunday, August 6–7, Portland, OR
BIKE—With the option of conquering “Oregon’s only double-century,” this Gorge-flanked ride starts with a 50-mile loop around town, and extends to 100 with a loop that include Corbett (that’s a bun-burner!) and Boring on Saturday, and a dip up to Molalla on Sunday.

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Grueling pace!

The Oregon Trail Game 5K
Sunday, August 7, Oregon City, OR
RUN—Try not to die of dysentery at this nostalgic event based on the classic Oregon Trail computer game. Along the way, runners must choose whether to go hunting, ford a river, and other 19th-century quandaries. 

Crater Lake Rim Runs
Saturday, August 13, Crater Lake, OR
RUN—Take on rugged mountain slopes and altitude of up to 7,850 feet as you circle Oregon’s majestic national park for 6.7, 13, or 26.2 miles. 

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Breathtaking! Or is that the altitude talking?

Timberline Mt Run
Sunday, August 14, Mt Hood, OR
RUN—Test your altitude training on one of the best mountain runs in the country. This 7-mile race starts and finishes 6,000 feet above sea level at historic Timberline Lodge, with a high point of nearly 7,000 feet at Palmer Chair. 

Hood to Coast Relay
Friday & Saturday, August 26-27, Mt Hood, OR
RELAY—This famous relay features 1,050 teams of 12 (that’s 12,600 runners!) on a nearly 200-mile trek from Mt Hood’s Timberline Lodge to the beautiful Oregon coast. 

SEPTEMBER—(Because we couldn't leave out these two!)

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PDX Runway Run
Saturday, Sept. 24, Portland, OR
RUN—How long is the PDX Airport’s north runway? Measure it yourself, in this first-ever on-tarmac 6K to celebrate the Port of Portland’s 125th Anniversary. Race is limited to just 2,500 participants.

Multnomah Falls Trail Run
Sunday, Sept. 25, Multnomah Falls, OR
RUN—This 5.9 mile run/walk circles scenic Multnomah Falls on the Wahkeena Trail. Bring your cape: the first folks to finish the race dressed as superheroes win a fifth of local whiskey!

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