The Adrian Sports Boosters are hosting the fifth annual Owyhee Off-Road Challenge on March 23 to raise money for a new track at the Adrian School District.

Runners can race in the half marathon, 5K or 10K event.

Last year, over 300 runners from across the Pacific Northwest came out to race, according to organizer Nickie Shira.

Shira, who is a runner herself, co-founded the Owyhee Off-Road Challenge with members of the Adrian Sports Boosters as a way to raise money for a new track at Adrian. She said the idea for the race started when she and her friend were training for a popular half-marathon in Boise that was known as one of the toughest races in the Northwest.

“A friend and I were running up around the hills just south of Adrian, prepping for the Race to Robie Creek half marathon, and we thought our route would be just as beautiful and just as challenging,” said Shira. “It’s just beautiful. You can see the Snake River as you run along the ridge, as well as the golden rugged hills that surrounds the river.”

The Owyhee Off-Road Challenge starts at Two Rivers Community Park in downtown Adrian and heads south along Highway 201 for a mile before it veers off to a dirt road that climbs over 700 feet to an overlook of the Snake River Valley. From there, the route follows the ridge to the edge of Rimrock Butte before turning south and looping across the ridgeline of the Owyhees. Runners are rewarded with views of the Treasure Valley and the rugged Owyhee River Valley. The toughest stretch of the race is the half-mile summit to Swear Hill, a sandy slope at the nine-mile post. Following the summit, it’s a downhill run back to the park.

The cost is $50 for the half-marathon, $40 for the 10K and $30 for the 5K. Runners can get a $10 discount if they sign up before March 18. 

To sign up, visit www.owyheeoffroadchallenge.com.

Last year’s Challengedrew in roughly $7,500.