Summer Runners’ Rundown

UPDATE: Unfortunately the Willamette River Rally relay has been cancelled due to low sign-ups! 🙁

Just in case you’re not already feeling sweaty enough, there are plenty of races, runs, and casual jaunts to check out this summer. Whether you’re in the mood for an all-weekend relay event or a quick dive in the mud, there is something out there for you. Many of these runs benefit a good cause, so you’re sure to fight the fat and benefit the community around you while doing it. To really get into the spirit, check out our many local thrift stores in Corvallis for a costume you don’t mind getting sweaty or ya know… why not add a tutu or a silly mask to your traditional running gear?

Barrel to Keg Relay and Ride
July 22-23
The Barrel to Keg Relay and Ride are two separate events that utilize the same course and benefit the Community Services Consortium (CSC), a public non-profit that provides resources to help people overcome poverty. The course starts promptly at 7 a.m. at the Harris Bridge Vineyard in Philomath, goes through the backcountry of the Oregon Coast Range, crosses over the Yaquina Bay Bridge, and finds its way to the Rogue Ales Brewery at Newport’s South Beach Marina for a victory drink or three.

Teams of two to seven runners split the 111K (69 mile) distance over 14 legs or the 51K (35 mile) distance over eight legs depending on your experience level. You can also choose to run the route individually. The cost is $87 for teams and individuals to register.

You can also check out the second annual Barrel to Keg Ride which serves as a sister event to the relay. It takes place a day after the running event and utilizes most of the same course and its stunning scenic views. There is a special prize for those who participate in both events.

For more information, visit 

SummerQuest Scavenger Hunt Fun Run
July 29

If you consider yourself an amateur Nancy Drew or Sherlock Holmes type, this fun run is right up your alley. The Dallas High School Booster Club is sponsoring their first fun run with all proceeds going to the Dallas High School athletic programs. All ages are welcome; walkers or runners form teams of two to six people. Each team gets a cinch bag to collect their clues and artifacts along the route, and one member of your team must have a smartphone to receive text clues from the race director.

Team members older than age 12 pay $25 and those under 12 pay a discounted price of $10, with all team members receiving a complimentary beverage—beer, cider, or root beer—that they can pick up at the West Valley Tap House beer garden located near the finish line. As an added bonus, adults receive a SummerQuest cinch bag.

Your quest begins at the historic Academy Building located at 182 SW Academy Street at 5 p.m. and the distance varies from approximately three to five miles depending on your sleuthing skills and whether you get distracted by the town’s Summerfest celebration or not—you can always check out their final evening concert later. 

Find more info here: 

Willamette River Relay (CANCELED)
Aug. 5

This year’s Willamette River Relay event has for the first year a 5K fun run added to the mix. Just in case you aren’t much of a paddler or bike rider you can run this course around historic downtown Albany. Individual rates are $30 until Aug. 5, when the price goes up $5, and youth rates are $20 through the day of the race. Register to receive a race T-shirt and medal along with your entry. You can even end your race day right with a post-race celebration in the park. There will be food and beverages from Calapooia Brewing Company and 2 Towns Ciderhouse. 

Learn more and register here: 

The Good Samaritan Challenge
Aug. 12

The Good Sam Challenge has a 1K and 5K run/walk. It starts at the Good Sam Regional Medical Center with a new trail from money that was raised at last year’s race. The 1K is free and starts at 9:45 a.m.; the 5K is $20 and starts at 9 a.m. The proceeds from the 5K benefit the physical rehab department of Good Sam Regional Medical Center.

The race challenges athletes and the community to raise money for those who need assistive devices. The course is a mostly flat loop with one short but difficult hill, but because every hill that goes up must go down, you’ll be able to propel towards the finish line even faster. This year’s race has chip timing and a free brunch/BBQ meal afterwards.

To register, check out their website: 

Mud Madness

Aug. 26
If you’re looking to unleash your inner mischievous child, then this race is the one for you. Get out your galoshes and grubbiest clothes and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime. Don’t forget to have a friend hold your essentials or bring a waterproof phone case. You have three options to infect yourself with mud madness: the timed professional 5K obstacle run; the shorter 1.7K fun run; or the challenger run with extra water and mud added to the main course. 

This event will be put on by the Exchange Club of Salem. It includes a water slide and tire climb among various other obstacles and, of course, tons of mud. The course is entirely kid-friendly, so bring your kiddos along, too. The event takes place at Salem’s own Fordyce Farm with different start times for each race and the two separate
waves of the fun run. The pro run starts at 9 a.m., the fun run waves start at 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., and the challenger run starts at 12:30 p.m.

No matter when you run you’ll still have time to partake in the after party, which has music and beer provided by Santiam Brewing. The fun run has a cost of $25; the challenger and pro runs are both $35. You can register online. Special pricing applies for children and families who participate.

More details about race obstacles, parking, and the after party can be found on the Exchange Club of Salem’s website: To register, visit

By Madeline Frisk