From mid-September to mid-October, a perfect weather window in Central Washington opens when warm afternoons are straddled by cool mornings and evenings.
This is the time of year when many people who have been panting, long tongued, in cool basements emerge from a month of estivation and get active again. Because of the idyllic weather, it’s also the time of year that many groups put on running events. Whether you run long or short, fast or slow, on pavement or dirt, there’s likely to be a running event to suit your style during the month ahead. Here are a few upcoming local events to choose from:
Run 100 miles … are you crazy? Arguably the people who do the Plain 100 Mile Endurance Run are just that. They are the few, the proud, the strong of leg, the big of lung and the loose of screw. Even though a nano-sliver of the population does this kind of ultra, it’s intriguing to know there are such running machines out there. The event starts Saturday and ends Sunday (contestants have 36 hours to finish). The cost ($95) delivers outstanding pain for the buck.
What does running have to do with salmon, which swim? It’s unclear, but whenever and wherever outdoorsy people congregate in numbers, event organizers look for an excuse to stage a run, which is exactly what is happening at the Leavenworth River Salmon Festival held at the Leavenworth Fish Hatchery. On Sept. 21, there will be a 1-, 5- and 10-kilometer runs to please everyone from kids to adults. For more information, visit salmonfest.org.
The Cle Elum Ridge Run bills itself as Washington’s second oldest ultra. It’s been happening for 16 years now, but come on, compared to the Plain 100, this 50-kilometer (30-mile) run is just a short jog. And the 25-kilometer option? Well, that’s not much more than a 100-yard sprint. The event takes place in Cle Elum on Sept. 21 The cost is $80 for the 50-kilometer run and $60 for the 25-kilometer run.
If you have a divinity complex, don’t just walk on water; do the River Run on Sept. 21. Depending on just how good your river running is, choose from these distances: 5 kilometers ($35), 10 kilometers ($45), and half marathon ($60). Now for the truth — the courses are on paved trail along the edge of the Columbia River. After the run, enjoy The Taste of Harvest Festival in Wenatchee. Register at RunWenatchee.com.
Run Wenatchee has weekly runs that are open to all. Furthermore, the workout inflicted upon you is free of charge. Track Tuesdays take place every week through the month of October at the Wenatchee High School track, start at 5:30 p.m. and last an hour. Meanwhile, club runs occur every Thursday, with runners leaving from the Saddle Rock Brewery between 5:30 and 6 p.m. (rolling start) and participants knocking off either 5 kilometers or 10 kilometers. Even if you’re not a particularly gung-ho runner, the social component of these weekly gatherings makes running fun.
Ready, SET, Run!, a women-only running group, runs every Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. from Arlberg Sports in downtown Wenatchee.
Finally, the Leavenworth Oktoberfest Marathon takes place Oct. 5. The hills and dales of faux Bavaria are particularly beautiful in early October, which is part of the reason a big crowd shows up to run this one every year. Of course, there are also the Oktoberfest festivities you can stumble around, like a cripple after running your marathon. The cost for the marathon is $102), while the half-marathon costs $82. For more information, visit teddriven.com.