We hope that this Half Marathon will be the highlight of your season. The race starts off and travels on paved roads with miles 1 through 3 venturing past a golf course, wooded forests and a nice view of the Willamette river. Miles 4 & 5 will take you through some neighborhoods in this quaint little town with the gem awaiting you at mile 6. At about the 5 1/2 mile mark, you will quickly understand why this race is called the Canby Dahlia Run. It is at this point that you run through 40 acres of dahlia fields, basking in all the splendor of these beautiful flowers. As you turn left down the driveway to Swan Island Dahlias (the largest dahlia farm in the country), there is a grass path that you will turn down and literally run in between the fields. Yes, we will be taking pictures of you here!
The race continues (miles 6-8) to wind around through town on flat surface streets until hanging a right onto the old logging road. It is on this stretch (miles 8-10) where there are no cars, so feel free to let your mind wander and enjoy the experience. There is a slight incline at about mile 8 1/2 where the course goes up and back down over Highway 99e. From this point to the end of the race, you’ll be reminded, “I’m not in Portland anymore” because nothing says ‘you’re in the country’ like running past wheat fields, farm houses and maybe passing an occasional tractor or two.
Mile 10.75 there is a steep hill that lasts about 1/8 mile which besides the 8 1/2 mile mark, is the only hill to speak of. Water stations are also available at miles 1 & 3, 4.75, 7, 8, 9.5, 11, and 12.
As you approach the finish line you will be greeted by a welcoming friend…….a 1/4 mile downhill stretch to the finish. I can’t think of a better way to end 13.1 miles but with a downhill finish. Whew!
Once you cross the finish line, you will be adorned with a medal as well as a beautiful cut dahlia to remember your journey.