Hill Billy Half Marathon

Saturday, September 24, 2016 • Madras, OR • Course Map

Set for its annual running here along the banks of Lake Simtustus in central Oregon, the Hill Billy Half Marathon takes runners from just north of Pelton Dam all the way south to Lake Billy Chinook, and features views of the valley’s stunning Round Butte, Mount Jefferson and the Three Sisters Mountains off in the distance.

Runners begin the race just north of Pelton Dam between Warm Springs and nearby Madras, along Northwest Pelton Dam Road. Built in the 1950s along the Deschutes River, the 204-ft.-high dam holds back the waters of Lake Simtustus in a narrow canyon, creating some of the gorgeous views you’ll get to see along the course.

From the starting line near the dam, the race heads south for the next several miles along Pelton Dam Road, all the way to the first turn on Belmont Lane. You’ll run for a little over half a mile before the next turn, a left onto Southwest Cinderpit Road, which will unfold again for the next few miles into The Cove Palisades State Park.

The race will finish overlooking Lake Billy Chinook on Mountain View Drive, with views of the Cascade Mountains off in the distance from virtually everywhere along the course and at the finish – which organizers say are “spectacular.”

The race has some serious hills, they add. The race has an overall elevation gain of more than 800 feet, and runners will climb more than 1,000 feet between the lowest point of the race between mile markers 3 and 4, and the highest point, which they’ll reach just before mile 9 along Southwest Round Butte Road.

Mount Jefferson, one of the peaks of the Cascade Mountains you'll glimpse off in the distance here along Lake Simtustus. (Photo by Bill Young/flickr)

Mount Jefferson, one of the peaks of the Cascade Mountains you’ll glimpse off in the distance here along Lake Simtustus. (Photo by Bill Young/flickr)

Race Weather & Climate

Set in a valley called “The Basin” in central Oregon, roughly 120 miles southeast of Portland, Madras typically sees some of its mildest and driest weather of the year in September, when temperatures routinely rise into the upper 70s and rainfall usually is limited to just under half an inch for the month.

On race day (Sept. 24), the average low is 36ºF and the average high is 74ºF.

Course Map

See the race route map for the Hill Billy Half Marathon here.

Starting Time

7:30 AM


  • $45 for the half marathon, if registered by August 30, 2016
  • $55 between September 1 – 18
  • $65 on the day of the race


To reserve your spot in the summer 2016 running of Madras’ Hill Billy Half Marathon race, register online at the event website here.

Official Race Website



Ever run in the Hill Billy Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.

See more races in: July, Oregon