Saturday, August 1, 2015 • Union, OR • Course Map
Ready for a long, gradual downhill run through some of northeast Oregon’s most scenic forests and mountains? You’ll have a chance to set a personal record at Union’s Catherine Creek Classic Half Marathon, which takes runners on an almost all downhill route that starts in the Wallowa National Forest and finishes in downtown Union, 13.1 miles northwest of the start.
Runners in the half should note that because it follows a point-to-point course that starts 13.1 miles away from town, they’ll need to show up at the finish line (where they can also register on the day of the race) at Union High School, where they’ll board the shuttle bus to the starting line.
Runners will start the race out on what is known as the Medical Spring Highway, or Route 203, at an elevation of just over 3,900 feet above sea level.
From there, they’ll follow Route 203 for nearly the entire race course — following roughly in parallel with Catherine Creek, from which the race gets its name — running northwest toward Union as the course loses just over 1,100 feet in elevation from the starting line to the finish back at the high school.
Along the way, the scenery will definitely give every runner a chance both to bond with their fellow runners — as the race field is likely to be in the dozens rather than the hundreds, like larger-city races — and to take in the natural beauty of the Wallowa and Elkhorn mountains all around. Down the Medical Spring Highway, runners will see a combination of wide-open farm fields on one side of the road while mountains and forests rise up on the other.
There’s also a stretch around mile 4 that takes runners through Catherine Creek State Park, whose ponderosa pine trees tower over the creeks and streams that make this park a popular spot for fishing and camping.
From there, the course continues on downhill into Union, where there a final few turns on Arch Street, Beakman Street and Main Street before runners hit the finish line back at Union High School.
Race Weather & Climate
Located near the northeastern corner of Oregon, just over 270 miles east of Portland, Union typically sees its warmest and driest weather of the year in August, which has brought record temperatures here as low as 29°F (in 1980) and as high as 108°F (in 1961).
On race day (Aug. 1), the average low is 50ºF and the average high is 86ºF.
- 8:00 AM – half marathon
- 9:00 AM – 5K, 1-mile
- $15 for registrations by July 31, 2015 ($25 with race t-shirt)
- $20 on the day of the race ($30 with race t-shirt)
To reserve your spot in the 2015 running of Union’s Catherine Creek Classic Half Marathon, 5K or one-mile race, visit the event website here.
Official Race Website
Ever run in the Catherine Creek Classic Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.