And they're off! PHOTO BY JEFF OMODT
And they're off! PHOTO BY JEFF OMODT
It was a perfect day for a trail run in Central Oregon as runners gathered for the sixth annual Kiwanis Run to The Top at Hoodoo on Saturday. Temperatures were still in the 50s as the runners set out at 8 a.m. for their 13.2- or three-mile adventures.

It’s a simple concept with an evil twist: Run a 5K or half-marathon trail course around the Hoodoo Ski resort, then complete the last mile, climbing over 1,000 feet to the top of Hoodoo mountain.

Runners commented to the effect: “It’s an awesome race, beautiful scenery, but one of the hardest we’ve ever done.”

Produced by Kiwanis Club of Sisters, the race has become a favorite of local runners who really want to push themselves.

“We wanted to give our runners an opportunity to challenge themselves in a scenic outdoor setting,” said Race Director Matt Kirchoff .

This year marked the biggest field ever for the event, with 160 entries (85 half-marathoners and 75 running the 5K).

Runners ranged from 7 to 68 years old, and several were multiple members of the same family. A father-son team from Prineville placed second and third in the 5K.

“It was really fun this year to see entire families running together. We had a lot of couples, father-son, and mother-daughter teams this year. And some even ran with their kids in strollers and with the family dog. It was all about family this year,” said Suzy Ramsey, race coordinator

The race is produced with an army of volunteers. Over 30 Kiwanis members, families, and friends spend months planning and executing all the details that need to come together to make it a good event for the runners.

Local sponsors provide donations and services to make it all happen. That included this year: Ray’s Food Place, Hoodoo, Three Creeks Brewing Company, Metabolic Maintenance, Sisters Saloon, Therapeutic Associates, Sisters Dental, David and Laura Hiller, Hawks Haven Reserve, Berni Huggett, Taylor Tire, Lance and Suzy Ramsey, Hank and Jan Failing, Step & Spine Physical Therapy, I & J Carpets, Susie Hamlin, Laird Superfood, Bedouin, Green Ridge Physical Therapy, and Momentum Promo Inc.

Top finishers included:

Half-marathon, Men:

1st, Collin Welk, Corvallis, 1:42:29

2nd, Evan Moreau, Sisters, 1:37:15

3rd, Caleb Brackett, Bend, 1:50:31

Half-marathon, Women:

1st, Clair McGowan, Bend, 2:05:55

2nd, Annie Barry, Albany, 2:11:22

3rd, Jessica Andres, Bend, 2:16:13

5K, Men

1st, Connor Moore, Brownsville, 34:20

2nd, Curt Gibson, Prineville, 34.44

3rd, Skyler Gibson, Prineville, 34:47

5K, Women

1st, Raudy Kristi, 34:44

2nd, Suzy Harvey, Reno, NV, 41.25

3rd, Cecelia Leclaire, Warm Springs, 41.48