Willamette Valley Marathon and Keizer Iris Festival Runs 2016: Register Now

by Jodi

Hi Running Friends.  And Non-Running Friends.  And Walking Friends.

Did you know that the Keizer Iris Festival is not just about irises, carnival rides, food, beer, and good times with family and friends?  The city of Keizer also puts on a series of races the weekend of May 21st and 22nd.  The events are well organized, chip timed, and lots of fun.  Learn more about the races on the Iris Festival website.

Three years ago the race director added a marathon to the slate of races.  I had the privilege of being part of the inaugural running.  I liked this race so much that I ran it again last year and just signed up to run it again this year.

The out-and-back marathon course is beautiful.  Runners head out of Keizer into the rolling Willamette Valley countryside.  We run past fields of flowers, hops farms, vineyards, and Willamette Mission State Park. Being out in the wide open spaces is rejuvenating.

I love this marathon, but the past two years the field of racers has been small.  I'd love to see the Willamette Valley Marathon put down roots and grow into a larger, competitive marathon.  The timing is great for runners who trained for the Vernonia and Boston marathons to piggy back on their training and squeeze in another marathon before the hot summer weather descends on us.

The race director and team have enhanced the start/finish line and post race experience this year.  Runners will now have the use of the JC Pizzeria Parlor for inside registration and post race live results.  Extra bonus?  Flush toilets! Post-race refreshments and soup will be available there as well. Race participants will also be able to use their bib tear-off for one free entry and brew inside the Keizerfest tent, any time the tent is open between May 19th and 22nd.

Race registration is super affordable and includes a race t-shirt and a finishers medal. I have been given a special discount code to share with you that applies to ALL the races that weekend, not just the marathon.  You can choose from a 3k, 5k, 10k, half marathon or full marathon.  Use coupon code JODI2016 during your online registration to receive 10% off your registration fee.

The last perk for this year's races is geared toward athletes who may not know yet that they actually are an athlete.  Anyone who has never participated in an organized race before will also receive a personalized medal and certificate for finishing.  You don't have to be a runner to give this a try.  You can walk too.  We just want you to come out, and be a part of the fun, encouraging atmosphere.  You'll feel so empowered when you cross that finish line.

It would give the Sole Sisters tremendous joy to find out that someone reading our blog decided to register for one of the Keizer Iris Festival weekend races. So what are you waiting for?  Get registered!

I hope to see some of you out on the marathon course.  Run on friends!

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