Having a Walking Partner Can Make All the Difference!

In all of the years I have been walking, I have never had a walking buddy. Most of my friends worked full time, lived too far away, were taking care of kids or grandkids, or didn’t like to walk. That all changed two weeks ago. My best friend has always had a walking partner and the only time she and I could walk together after we both retired was on Monday afternoons. Two weeks ago her walking partner decided she didn’t want to walk anymore. So, now we walk 4 days a week. It is such a blessing to have someone to walk with. If you don’t have a walking, running, or workout buddy, find one. Both of you will benefit.

The benefits of having a walking partner are numerous. Check the list below for six reasons you and a friend should be walking together today.

When the weather turns gloomy or wet you may choose to keep your head on the pillow and sit on the couch. A walking buddy rarely lets that happen. Making sure that both of you are accountable to each other for your fitness goals keeps you on track. You can even work in a reward and punishment system for if one of you gets lazy.

For Fun
After a long day at the office or a dreary night’s sleep your walk may not sound good. Little can be done to improve a mood other than the end goal in these situations. However, with a friend in tow you’re sure to be smiling soon. Whether you’re catching up on the day’s experiences or just enjoying seeing your friend. Plus, laughing increases your metabolism and burns calories.

Burn More Calories
Burning calories during exercise means creating an oxygen depletion in your body. This is a natural process of the body to use oxygen to drive aerobic activity. As your walks become more vigorous the more oxygen you’ll lose, thereby increasing the exercise’s efficiency. Talking with a buddy while you walk increases the oxygen deprivation, forcing your body to work harder and burn more calories. Keep the conversation as brisk as your steps and you’ll be tightening that belt another notch in no time.

The Challenge
A little healthy competition never hurt anyone. Especially, when the competition is for improved health. Set goals for each other and force yourselves to stick with them. Create a reward system for the friend that is able to increase their pace or walked the most miles. It’s a great way to stay motivated during the week.

Sometimes after an injury or a bad day the thought of going for a walk seems uninspiring. On these days, when you’re hurting, a buddy is the perfect companion. Slow down the pace and take a second to talk about what’s going on in your life. Relieving all of that stress may actually help you lose weight. At the end of your time together you may actually find that you feel good in several ways, including fitting in time with a friend.

Location, Location, Location
Taking the same path every time you go for a walk can be the fastest path to boredom. Mixing it up makes the experience exciting and worth a few more extra miles on the walk. Coming up with new places early in the morning can be a chore. It’s always easier to do the same thing everyday. With a partner you’ve got double the imagination to help you come up with new paths.
This partnership can be the key to your fitness success. The motivation, care, and focus a partner brings to your walk will help you stay on track. You’ll need all of the luck in the world to keep you in bed when your partner wants to walk. There’s no choice friend, you’ve got a walking buddy. Time to hit the streets.




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All packets that are not collected at the expo will be available at their respective start-lines.  Please plan to arrive at least 90 minutes before your event start. No ID is required to pickup your packet.

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Start Times and Locations
Marathon: 7:00 AM September 19th at Norma Pfeiffer Park in Coburg, OR
Note: Drop-offs are welcome, limited parking at start (see Parking and Shuttles for Race Start below).
Half Marathon: 8:00 AM September 19th at 33325 Wilkins Rd, Eugene, OR 97408
Note: Limited drop-off capacity, if you are dropping off a participant, plan to arrive at least 1 hour before the race. No parking at start. (see Parking and Shuttles for Race Start below)
5K: 9:00 AM September 19th at ​7th & Smith St, Harrisburg, OR 97446 ​(at Harrisburg Middle School)
All races end at the bus turn-around at 7th & Smith St, Harrisburg, OR 97446 ​(at Harrisburg Middle School)

Information regarding start times, parking and other useful information is also available via our interactive race map.

Parking and Shuttles for Race Start
The expo and finish line are in the school bus driveway just east of Harrisburg Elementary School on Smith Street. You can not drive in or park there. There is limited parking at the full marathon start, and there is no parking at the half marathon start. The 5K start is the same as the finish line.

The best parking areas are:
1. Harrisburg High School parking lot on 9th Street (on Friday during the expo, we will be competing with a football game, starting at 7:00, so fill the other areas first)
2. Harrisburg Middle School parking on 6th Street (only on the west side so you don’t block the 5K course)
3. Gravel lot between school bus parking and Middle School
4. On city street north of Smith so you don’t block or congest the race course

On Friday for the expo, we will be competing with a football game, so if the parking lots fill up, just drive a little farther north in town to find open street parking. Make sure to park correctly, and don’t block driveways or fire zones.

On Saturday, parking will be easiest before the full marathon, from about 4:15am to 6:15am. If you are going for the half marathon, go a little early in case the parking lots are full and you have to park on the street (not along the race route).

Catch the Shuttle Early
You can catch the shuttle from the high school parking lot as early as 4:45am on Saturday to the full marathon start line. For the half marathon the early shuttle starts at 6:00am and several others come at 6:30am. There are more large buses than last year, so we hope it will be less stressful for everybody.

If you are staying at either of the host hotels, Hilton Garden Inn Springfield or Life Northwest Harrisburg, the shuttle will pick up on Friday for the expo and on Saturday morning early for either race. Full marathon shuttles start from the hotels at 4:30am from Life Northwest and at 4:45 from Hilton Garden Inn. Life Northwest in Harrisburg, is only 1.5 miles from the high school.

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Packet Pickup
Packets are available at the expo only.  If you cannot have your packet picked up for you at the expo click the button below to notify our packet crew.