Joe Schmitt writes a weekly blog called The Good Life, featuring information about the region’s history, culture, climate and economy. The blog also showcases new residents, clubs and organizations, outdoor recreational opportunities and local events.
The Yakima River Canyon is a 27-mile stretch of state highway 821 connecting Yakima with Ellensburg to the north. Driving through the canyon, during any season, is nothing short of picturesque. Apparently, the former sheriff of Kittitas County thought it would be a great destination for a marathon and eventually Bob and Lenore Dolphin of Yakima were called upon to develop the new sporting event. “This is a marathon that you really should consider for the whole weekend's experience is the Yakima River Canyon.
It simply beats any other marathon experience PERIOD. At the end of the carbo loading dinner the night before, everyone know everyone. Getting on the buses and on the beautiful course the next morning it's old home week with new friends. At the afternoon baked potato salad bar awards dinner it is simply a hoot. I always stay two nights,” says Bob Boyd who has run in the Yakima River Canyon marathon many times. Known as the Dolphin Team, Bob and Lenore ultimately chaired the first even 12 years ago (and they still organize the event today). According to Lenore, “Bob has run marathons all over the United States and although Yakima River Canyon Marathon is close to him, he still feels it’s the most beautiful. Around every corner is something new, bighorn sheep, bald eagles, even elk sightings, but the beauty and serenity of running alongside the Yakima River itself makes the run unique.” The event was popular from the beginning, drawing nearly 500 runners.
Today, approximately 600 register for the event each year. They come from all over the world to enjoy the marathon because they enjoy the camaraderie amongst the organizers, the Hardcore Runners Club of Yakima, and the annual awards dinner hosted that evening at the Selah Civic Center, the event headquarters. Formed in 1977, the Hardcore Runners Club boasts over 200 members and is the primary sponsor for several events throughout the year. In addition, they actively support the Yakima Greenway Foundation and help them organize their annual Gap2Gap relay later in the spring.
For more information about registration click here.