Our top picks for summer races (including beer)

Participants cross over the Deschutes on the course of the Heaven Can Wait Run/Walk for breast cancer.

We’re coming out of three consecutive big race weekends in Bend, including the  ever-popular Pole Pedal Paddle, the Happy Girls Half, and one of my personal favorites, the Heaven Can Wait 5K. And we’re just getting started on a busy summer . Here are our picks for some of the best summer runs in Central Oregon.

This weekend (June 8), you can choose between the Three Sisters Marathon that treats runners to sweeping views of the Three Sisters, and the classic Dirty Half marathon in Bend.

Next, we’ve got the Butte Burner Charity Run up Pilot Butte and the Tough Mudder on June 15.

One June 30, take a break from your hard-core training regimen and sign up for the Beer Run, which takes participants through several beer stops along its course including Deschutes Brewery, 10 Barrel Brewing, and Cascade Lakes until the finish at the intersection of Bond and Franklin, where runners are greeted with—you guessed it—another beer! Because it wouldn’t be an event in Bend without craft beer involved.

On the 4th of July, you can work off those BBQ burgers and hot dogs with the Spark Your Heart 5K to support Adult and Children’s Heart Services in Central Oregon.

Other July highlights include the Deschutes Dash, which offers Olympic and sprint distance triathlons, duathlons, aquabikes, and 10K and 5K runs on the 13-14th. The next weekend on July 20th, “Bend’s Wackiest Footrace,” the Urban Scramble, gives participants 2.5 hours to run all over Downtown Bend, The Old Mill, and the Westside with a map searching for clues, performing wacky stunts, and collecting wild paraphernalia in order to accumulate as many points as they can. And what would a race in Bend be without two beer stops along the course?

Standout races in August are the Haulin’ Aspen Half/7-Miler and the Deschutes Brewery Twilight Run 5K that celebrates the long days and warm temperatures of August. After crossing the finish line, treat yourself to a beer garden featuring Deschutes Brewery’s Twilight Summer Ale, great post race food, and some music to shake your booty to if you have any energy left.

We’ve got races for the young and old, the marathoners and the walkers, the minors and the beer-connoisseurs. We’ll see you out on the trails!

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