SPRAY — Running enthusiasts are encouraged to sign up for the annual Eastern Oregon Half Marathon, which includes a variety of distances for both runners and walkers. This year’s event is Saturday, May 25 beginning with day-of race registration and packet pickup at 7 a.m. a quarter mile northwest of Service Creek on Highway 19 near Spray.
The half marathon, in its 54th year, is the oldest half marathon in Oregon and is held every year in conjunction with the Spray Rodeo. Research has shown that the top ten times for the half marathon were set in the 1900s, and none have been beat this century.
The race course runs along the scenic John Day River. Half marathon (13.1 miles) walkers begin at 7:30 a.m., followed by runners at 8 a.m., at the Service Creek starting point. The 10K runners/walkers begin at 8:30 a.m. 6.2 miles west of Spray on Highway 19. The 5K race begins at 8:45 a.m. 3.1 miles west of Spray on Highway 19. All races end in downtown Spray.
The race surface is paved, with a 12-foot rise in elevation between start and finish. Refreshment stations will be located at three places along the course. Restrooms are available at Service Creek, but not along the course. Bus transportation to individual starting lines will be provided at 7 a.m.
Awards will be presented to male and female winners in six age categories, with belt buckles awarded to the overall male and female winners. An awards ceremony begins promptly at 10:45 a.m., and race results will be posted to the Eastern Oregon Half Marathon website with a week of the race.
Registration is $35 for all racer. Registration forms are available online at https://runsignup.com/Race/OR/Spray/easternoregonhalfmarathon, with online registration ending Thursday, May 23 at 11:59 p.m.
In addition to enjoying an old-school race in the gorgeous John Day River Valley, participants are supporting a great cause. All profits from the races go to the Spray Rodeo Association, which supports the Spray Fire Department and EMS.