Qualify for the Boston Marathon with your dog and an after party that can’t be beat. The community of Greenville and Mountain Family Services in Plumas County invite runners to enjoy their home for a great cause and a good time.
Running with the Bears is not only the smallest Boston Qualifier in the United States, it’s one of the few managed entirely by the charity it benefits. A passionate group of people who run Mountain Circle Family Services, Inc. started the event in 2010 as a fundraiser for the ‘PowderQuest’ program; an outdoor leadership trip for older foster care youth. Additional funds help to maintain all of Mountain Circle’s core programming for children and youth in foster care; providing therapeutic care for foster children and youth, and 24/7 support to their caregivers. As participants run the course, they will meet the very foster families and teens that their entry fee supports.
At the heart of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges, home of the Mountain Maidu, the fantastic alpine meadows and lush mountain ranges have attracted outdoor recreation enthusiasts for more than 100 years.
The Running with the Bears Marathon, Half Marathon, and 10K race is located in an area originally settled by the Northern Maidu who lived along the edges of valleys in small settlements, usually of a hundred people or less, and occupied this part of the Feather River region and its many tributaries. The mountain landscape, rugged and uniquely beautiful, abounds with Maidu stories and according to tales of long ago these mountain lands were created for the Maidu after a great flood.
All runners will gather at the starting line together at Goss Ranch located at 4864 North Arm Road, Greenville, CA. Race time for the Marathon runners begins at sunrise at 6:30 a.m.; Half Marathon runners start at 7:00 a.m.; and the 10K runners at 8:00 a.m. This is a ‘Q’ style race, with the finish line being the same as the start line.
Running north, the participants will enjoy views of the serene valley as historic ranches, old barns, grazing cattle come into view. The valley is also dotted with barn quilts that are part of another trail, the Plumas County Barn Quilt Trail.
Heading out first northward along North Arm Road and then about halfway between the mile 1 and 2 markers, runners will turn left onto Lights Creek Lane, which becomes Diamond Mountain Road by the time they reach the mile 2 marker. The course keeps runners on Diamond Mountain Road for roughly the next five miles as it winds alongside the edge of the valley, with mountains rising up on the right and the wide-open valley meadows on the left. Runners will make two more left turns, on North Valley Road and then back again onto North Arm Road, and then start the stretch that takes them northeast along North Arm Road, for a winding second half of the race along the opposite side of the valley, all the way back north to the starting line.
Located approx. every 2.5 miles throughout all courses, runners will be well taken care of at the Aid Stations that are stocked with water, dog treats, specialty hydration drinks, snacks, and first aid kits. Every Aid Station is managed by a different local charity who are holding a friendly competition themselves to win the runner’s vote in the area of ‘best snacks,’ ‘enthusiasm,’ and ‘theme.’