Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon returns for third running

Thousands of runners, wine enthusiasts, sponsors and spectators will converge at the finish line of the Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon, presented by Subaru, in the “great little town” of Carlton on Sunday, September 2. Now in its third year, the race is one of the most scenic half marathons in the country, and features four days of events beginning on Thursday at the Sports Authority store in Beaverton.

Two-time defending women’s champion Carre Heineck is returning to attempt to win her third-in-a-row. The 30-year-old Portland resident set the women’s course record last year at 1:18:44 and looks to better that mark in 2012.

“The Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon is a big, competitive race, but it doesn’t seem like it, because people are so friendly and supportive,” comments Heineck in a brief moment between being a full-time middle school teacher and the mother of a two-year-old. “It has a great community feel to it. At most big races, you never really talk to the other competitors, but at this race, everyone hangs out. Last year, I met Eva Vail, who finished 3rd and now we’re friends and we train together.”

The 13.1-mile race starts at Stoller Vineyards and winds through scenic Yamhill County in the heart of the Willamette Valley wine region before finishing on North Pine Street in Carlton. A Wine & Music Festival, awards ceremony and other activities follow the race in Carlton. New for 2012 will be the Winery Team Challenge, in which local wineries field teams of runners and compete for the winery trophy.

According to Matt Dockstader, the Event Director, two course changes and new elements such as the Winery Team Challenge have been added to enhance the event experience. “Oregon has such a strong running community which is even evident within the wineries. Many of them pull together teams to compete in the race, which gave us the idea to incorporate this challenge into all our races. It gives it a fun, local flavor, although we draw from all over the country.”

Each race participant receives a specially designed technical running shirt, colorful finishers medal with a wine-stopper and corkscrew, plus a Riedel Oregon Pinot Noir wine glass and entry into the post-race Wine & Music Festival, where 24 wineries and one brewery from the region will be pouring. Additional glasses and tickets for the festival can be purchased for friends and family.

With so many people visiting the Willamette Valley before, during and after the event, local businesses thrive. “On that weekend, we are extremely busy, especially on race day,” bristles Retta Carl, co-owner of Cielo Blu Restaurant in Carlton. “We get not only the race participants, but also the event staff, the volunteers, and the friends and families that come to watch the runners cross the finish line.”

The Health and Fitness Expo is held on Saturday September 1 from 10:00am to 6:00pm at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, and is free and open to the public. Under the wings of the Spruce Goose, the expo features exhibitor booths, seminars, wine tasting and packet pickup for registered runners, plus discounts on other Evergreen attractions. Other ancillary events include early packet pickup at Sports Authority in Beaverton on August 30, a welcome reception on August 31 at Grand Cru Estates, a pre-race dinner and a post-race wine tasting tour.

Adam Goucher and Tim Catalano will be guest speakers at the Expo. Adam was a 2000 US Olympian in the 10,000 meters and co-authored “Running the Edge” with Catalano. He is also the husband of Kara Goucher, who will compete for the U.S. in the marathon in London.

The primary beneficiary of the Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon is Carlton Together Cares, a non-profit organization that operates the Carlton Community Center and develops programs for youth and families in the Carlton-Yamhill area. They are largely focused on providing youth with useful roles in the community, and safe and healthy activities.

Registration for the Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon is still open and can be accessed through the event website, A team competition with six or more runners is offered, in addition to a 2-person relay. A registration price increase goes into effect on Saturday, July 28. The race is part of a series produced by Destination Races, who also produces Wine Country Half Marathons in Napa-Sonoma, Healdsburg, Santa Barbara and Virginia. For more information on the series, visit

U.S. Windsurfing Nationals set for next week in the Columbia Gorge

The 2012 U.S. Windsurfing Nationals will take place from July 23-26 at the Hood River Event Site, showcasing the nation’s best windsurfers in slalom racing, course racing and freestyle events. Here are just a few of the big names that are scheduled to participate:

Bruce Peterson
U.S. Nationals champion who owns a windsurfing sail brand in Hood River

Steven Max
Under-17 World Freestyle Champion from Aruba

Tyson Poor
An Oregon resident who has competed around the world

Fiona Wylde
15-year-old from Hood River who is one of the top junior racers in the U.S.

U.S. Nationals Schedule

Monday, July 23
Registration/Check in at Event Site 8-9am – Freestyle Nationals Begin

Tuesday, July 24 to Thursday, July 26
Slalom, Formula and Freestyle Nationals at Event Site

Thursday, July 26
Closing Ceremony 7-9pm at the Marina Park in Hood River

The American Windsurfing Tour puts on this U.S. Windsurfing Event. The American Windsurfing Tour came into existence two years ago following the success of a single event: the 2010 Pistol River Wave Bash near Gold Beach, Ore. That one event spawned an entire five-stop competition tour the following year, which included Santa Cruz (Calif.), Pistol River (Ore.), Baja, Cape Hatteras (N.C.) and Maui, and momentum has just kept building ever since. For 2012, a sixth event in Peru has been added, which will encourage an exchange of athletes for other events between North and South America.

Click below for more info!

Rev3 Triathlon returns to Blue Lake this weekend

For the second consecutive year, Rev3 Triathlon will bring its national series to Blue Lake Park in east Multnomah County. Racing begins Sunday, July 8 at 8:00 a.m. as world-class professional triathletes compete for a $50,000 prize purse in the 70.3-mile HalfREV triathlon (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run).

Amateur triathletes from the Portland area and around the nation will follow the pro’s onto the course to compete in either the HalfREV or the Olympic distance event (1 mile swim, 24 mile bike, 6.2 mile run). This year’s course features a challenging, newly-designed HalfREV bike course winding into the Columbia River Gorge and the foothills of Mount Hood, the most technical bike course in the Rev3 race series with steep climbs, fast descents and hairpin turns.

Volunteers Needed
Rev3 is seeking several volunteer bike course marshals to assist cyclists during the race on Sunday morning. Volunteers will be paid $10 per hour for their assistance. Visit for more info.

Pro Triathlete Field Includes Oregon Resident
Fresh off his victory at Quassy in Middlebury, Conn. last month, Richie Cunningham headlines the men’s pro field. Cunningham has taken the Rev3 series lead in the men’s professional division with 1,770 points. Last year’s Portland winner Graham O’Grady will attempt to defend his title, while former 70.3 world champion Terenzo Bozzone of New Zealand is a late entrant to the men’s field. O’Grady won by nine seconds over Cunningham in last year’s thrilling finish.

Eugene resident and former Oregon State track and cross country champion Jesse Thomas will also be competing for the Rev3 Portland title. Thomas, who finished fourth at Rev3 Portland last year, was recently featured on the cover of Triathlete magazine as one of the future stars of the sport.

Women’s pro participants include 2011 Rev3 Portland champ Meredith Kessler of San Francisco, Kelly Williamson of Austin, Texas, who leads the women’s pro division with 1,480 points, Mackenzie Madison of Eugene, and Nicole Kelleher, who won the season-opening event in Costa Rica and is second in the women’s standings with 1,290 points.

Truckers to Triathletes Training Program to Launch at Rev3 Portland
Rev3 sponsor Pilot Flying J is teaming up with Truckers to Triathletes to help professional truck drivers improve fitness and maintain healthy lifestyles. Rev3 Portland will kick off the Truckers to Triathletes training plan.

Expo and Family Adventure Race
The weekend-long event starts with a free race expo from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, and will be open again on Sunday, July 8 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Rev3 Adventure will be hosting a family adventure race at Blue Lake Park at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday as parents team up with family members between the ages of 6-16 and follow a map throughout the park to find different checkpoints.

Traffic Impacts
The event will cause minor traffic disruptions. The HalfREV bike course will impact traffic along Halsey Street from NE 223rd to NE 257th and the Stark Street Bridge from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sunday. Marine Drive will be closed from NE 33rd to Sundial Road from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Police will be at major intersections controlling traffic.

Participants will exit Marine Drive heading South on NE 223rd Avenue, then turn east on NE Halsey Street which will lead them through Fairview, Wood Village and Troutdale to the Columbia River Highway (CRH). Riders will exit the CRH, heading south on SE Hurlburt and complete a loop that will bring them back to CRH on the Stark Street Bridge. Returning riders will make their way back to Marine Drive along the same route that took them out of town.

Motorists should expect delays and are advised to use alternate routes.