SportsEvents Magazine

AUG 2016

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August 2016 28 "The area is a fantastic river valley and we're right in the mountains, so it's a spectacular setting," said Tony Banovich, the executive director of Run Wild Missoula and race director of the Missoula Marathon, which had more than 6,000 runners participate this year. "Build- ing off of that, Missoula has great small- town hospital- ity but also all the amenities needed for a major event." Missoula is also prime mountain-bik- ing territory and home to the Mis- soula XC, a professional mountain bike race that takes place every June at Mar- shall Moun- tain, a site that will also be hosting the USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Champion- ships in 2017 and 2018. Marshall Mountain is a closed ski hill that's located about seven miles outside of town. Oregon: A Rugged Beautiful Playground The Cascades Mountains and coastal area of Oregon offers sandboarding, mountain biking and scenic cycling. On the nation's West Coast, the mountain-and-coast terrain surround- ing Eugene, OR provides a rugged, beautiful playground for sports enthu- siasts and amateur sports events. Angie Riley, digital marketing man- ager for Eugene, Cascades & Coast Sports touts her hometown as a "natu- ral" natural venue. "Life is sport," Riley said. "Play it here where the great outdoors make the ideal place for your sports event. Stretching from Western Oregon's Pa- cific coastline with miles of amazing natural sand dunes to arguably the best single-track trails in the West in the Cascade Mountains, the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region provides an out-of- this-world loca- tion." One of coastal Oregon's most intriguing and unique venues, the 40-acre Sand Mas- ter Park in Flor- ence, not far from the Pacific Ocean, plays host to the Sand Master Jam event every July. The Jam features pro and amateur men's and wom- en's categories and, just for fun, is coupled with sand-sculpting demonstrations. Sand Master Park celebrated its 20th year this year and claims to be the world's first sand- board park. Another major outdoor sports event in this part of Oregon takes place in the Oakridge area in the Cas- cade Mountains. Oakridge will host The Pacific North- west Backcountry mountain biking competition, known as the Trans-Cas- cadia, later this year, September 28 - October 3. n Special Feature: 2016 NATURAL VENUES GUIDE

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