For all you out of towners coming to visit Bend this coming weekend for Club XC Champs…

That's the cheesiest one I could find.

That’s the cheesiest one I could find. Because Oregonians are so nice, it’s fitting.

Really though. Welcome to Bend! I hope you have an amazing time.

max-king-xterra-2008-world-championshipsMax King who is basically the man in this town for his trail racing exploits (well deserved) has designed the course. It will be fairly challenging. Think hills, sideways slants, varied terrain, hay bales…and then if it snows, snow! Believe it or not, there have been some complaints from out of towners about it, but let me just say this: it’s cross country. You have signed up for a cross country race. In the rest of the world that means hay bales and hills and good material for battle stories. I say just get the right footwear sorted out and adjust your speed as necessary and have some freaking fun! And if you don’t race, cheer and have a beer!


Helpful Information for Your Trip

Race Stuff

Most helpful website: Visit Bend

A Panel you Don’t want to miss:

I’ll be one of several athlete speakers. Event is hosted at packet pickup on Friday, December 13th at 4:00pm at the Riverhouse Convention Center. Come and ask your training questions to get the proper prep for the USATF Cross Country National Championships on Saturday! Come check it out and say hi. I may or may not have Picky Bars on me.


Please for the love of God learn how to drive in a roundabout  before coming to town. Yield but scoot yourself right in there and keep things moving. And watch out for ice. If there is one place in town you’ll slide out in bad weather, it’s in a roundabout.

Places to Run

There are a ZILLION amazing trails in Bend. Unfortunately there will likely be snow everywhere, so I recommend one of three places near downtown that are safe and convenient. Just click on the link below each map to open google maps and view the run routes in greater detail.

1st street rapids:

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7.5 mile out and back on a nice dirt path that is often usable even with snow. Can’t guarantee it. Park where 1st street dead ends into a wide path. Bonus: there’s a porto.

River Loops: 3 miles each (should be usable if snowy).

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Park at McKay Park and run south along the river (upriver) on one side for as long as you’d like, Cross the river at Reed Market Bridge (the big one about 1.5 miles out). If feeling frisky you don’t have to turn at the bridge and can run out another 1.5 miles along the river to a small footbridge and come back on the other side. Just make sure you have yaktrax on if you go the extra distance because it’s not plowed back there in the forest.

Teatherow Neighborhoods: 6.5m

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If there is lots of snow, this is where I go. Park at Summit High School and start on the road that borders the track. Cross skyliner and do the loop from there for a 6.5 mile loop on roads with very little traffic. There are a few hills but it’s not bad. Paths are plowed. If you want to do the 5 mile version, from Skyline Ranch Road, turn onto Metolius rather than going to Meeks Trail first.

Long Run Suggestion:

First option is to do the Tetherow Loop above twice. That’s your safest bet. But if you want to try to run on a dirt road, there is a great one about 20 minutes East of town that is at a lower elevation with very little tree cover so it’s generally snow-free (no guarantees). Its nice and wide and pretty flat with great footing and incredible views of the Cascades on your way back to the car. If you do decide to go there, DO NOT make up your own driving directions. Follow these exactly or you’ll be off roading on lava flows and moving cattle gates to go the way you are absolutely sure MUST be faster according to google maps (Little Wing did it last month).

Driving directions from downtown Bend:

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Start downtown on Greenwood and head East. That becomes HW 20 E. Turn left on the Powell Butte HW. After about 6 miles, turn left at the sign for Pronghorn Resort. Drive almost 3 miles and you’ll cross a bridge over a canal. The very next dirt road on your right about 100 meters later is the place! Park and go for it!

Here is the running path map:

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It’s out and back along Horner road (there is no sign on the road), which parallels a canal the whole way. Pretty straightforward.

Some of My Favorite Places

This is a list of all my faves at the moment. If you know the area and have anything you want to add, please put it in the comments!

My Top 3 Coffee Houses: Backporch Roasters, Thump, Palate

Best Coffee Shop with Full Kitchen: Strictly Organic on Bond

Best Tea House: Townshend Tea, Downtown

Favorite Grocery Store: Newport Market

Cool European Style Neighborhood Market with Grab and Go: Devore’s

Best Butcher Shop: Primal Cuts

Most Decadent Breakfast Sandwich: Sparrow Bakery

Best Bakeries: Fearless, Sparrow

Baked Good You Can’t Get Anywhere Else: Ocean Roll (Sparrow, Backporch)

Best Benedict: Victorian Cafe

Best Baguette French Toast: Jackson’s Corner (also favorite lunch spot)

Best Yuppie Breakfast: Chow

Best Place to Get Way Too Much Breakfast: Westside Cafe

Best Breakfast Joint with 90’s jams: Alpenglow

Best Hippie Smoothie/Salad/Sandwich/Kombucha combo place: Mother’s on Galveston

Best Wraps: Parrilla (also known for fish tacos)

Best Insane Sandwiches: Plankers

Weirdest Place to Eat: Food Carts off Galveston (Real Food is my fave).

Most Creative Menu: Spork

Best Burger: Deschutes Brewery, 10 Barrel

Best 2000 calorie Nachos: 10 Barrel:

Longest Wait in Town: 10 Barrel

GF Pizza: Flatbread, 10 Barrel, and freaking Dominos believe it or not

Decent Pre-race Italian Food with GF options: Pastini

Best Middle Eastern Fancy: Joolz

Best Middle Eastern Budget: Kebaba

Best Spanish Tapas/Tacos: Barrio

Best Cajun: Zydeco

Best Pricy Thai: Noi

Best Cheap Thai: Angel Thai

Best Budget Burrito: Super Burrito

Other Nice Restaurants: Pine Tavern, La Rosa, Balthazar’s, 900 Wall

Best Breweries: Crux, 10 Barrel, Boneyard, Deschutes, Bend Brewery, Silver Moon and like 8 more.

Best IPA: Boneyard

Best Stout: Crux

Pub with most variety and amazing sliders: Broken Top Bottle Shop (foosball a bonus)

Best Wine: Stopped drinking wine when I moved here

Whisky Bar: McMenamins (also has mineral baths, movie theater, live shows, restaurant)

Best Shopping: Downtown, Old Mill

Places for Singles: No idea. Try yelp. I see well-dressed types at Velvet and ski types at JC’s. Pick your poison.


That’s it!

Have fun while you’re here and if you try out any of these places, let me know how it goes in the comments. Best of luck to everyone racing!


Have you checked out my first ever Holiday Gift Guide?  There is a bacon covered gift bag involved. Give it a whirl.