Bend Marathon has had to cancel its in-person races for the past two years, but this year, runners will be delighted to know that the "real deal" is back. On Sunday April 10 organizers will stage the marathon, half marathon, 10k and 5k in-person races, starting and ending in the Old Mill District where it's easy for family and friends to catch the most exciting parts of the action. There's also a virtual challenge running from April 1 to May 31 for adults and youth.
- Photos by Max King
- Racers challenge themselves at Bend Marathon's previous race in 2020.
With two years of virtual-only events, the people behind Bend Marathon are very excited to be hosting in-person races again. This year, they're also working on becoming a leader in sustainability. To do that they have made some practical changes to the organization.
The Source interviewed Bend Marathon's Kari Strang and here's what she had to say.
Source Weekly: Who is the average person doing a marathon these days?
Kari Strang: I'm not sure if there is an average person doing a marathon. A common theme is people that want to challenge themselves.
SW: What goes into putting on an event like this?
KS: A lot of planning, teamwork, and passion for the event and desire to create the best possible experience for your participants.
SW: What did it look like to have to see the marathon set aside for not one, but two years?
- Max King
- Runners romp through the high desert track at the last in-person event in 2020.
KS: It was disappointing. The loss of community, knowledge that many people had trained hard for the event and didn't get to have the in-person experience they had hoped for. We did all we could to create the best possible virtual experience for them, and the virtual event was great but still not the same as the "real deal."
SW: What does it feel like to be back after two years?
KS: It feels awesome! We are very excited to be back in person this year.
SW: When did you know that you could have a 2022 event?
KS: We've been hopeful for many months. Then Omicron hit and we got nervous, but thankfully we've moved through that and can go forward.
SW: You mention that you have this goal to become the leader in the sport of road running in sustainability? How do you plan to do that?
KS: We are working on incrementally reducing our environmental impact. We've moved to more local sourcing of products and food, race "medals" made from wood versus plastic or metal, encouraging use of reusable cups or other water devices, implementing a teracycle program for our aid stations and finish area, finish line provisions with minimal packaging or waste. The list goes on.
Get more info about Bend Marathon by visiting its website, bend-marathon.com. There you can register to participate in a race online, become a volunteer, and find local charities worth donating to.