On Saturday, February 22nd I set out for Silver Falls with my friend and three kiddos. After the hour and a half drive from Vancouver, Washington we arrived at the Silver Falls Horse Camp, which is where the race started.
Parking was fairly easy and we got a parking spot in the main area, although cars were lined up along the road to the entrance of the horse camp. We arrived approximately 10 minutes before the start of the race. I went to the packet pickup tent and got my bib number right away without any wait. I walked around and took a couple pictures in front of the finish arch before waiting in line for the port-a-potties. The line was long but went by fairly fast.
The race started near the entrance of the parking lot. There was not a race arch like at the finish but everyone seemed to know where to go. I got in the pack of runners and after a brief message from the staff letting us know that we should expect lots of mud they set us free. My kiddo was waiting at the start line and I got to enjoy her smiling face and cute wave as a send off as I ran past.
We began with a brief run down the entrance road to the horse camp. Runners were directed across the road and into the wooded trail area of the Silver Falls horse camp. I had no idea what to expect except that I knew there would be some pretty steep hills. The race was very muddy and I remember at one point chuckling to myself as fellow runners were splashing mud as they ran by that the race was very appropriately named – mudslinger. There were sections of the course that were dry, some that were the thick sticky mud that claims shoes, some that were very slippery and some sections that were more like running through a stream rather than a trail. The course elevation was rough, with sections of uphill that made me question whether or not I had any leg muscles as they seemed to be failing me. After I convinced myself to very slowly climb the hills I decided that I would make up time by killing it going downhill, however I did not expect the slippery mud that existed on the downhills. Running in that slippery mud just seemed treacherous.
I have no idea how anyone managed to run that entire course but I’m pretty sure many people did. This was my first trail run, outside of obstacle course races and I really enjoyed it. Although the elevation of the course made it difficult the scenery was amazing. I typically run with headphones during all my races but for this one I decided to take my ear buds out and just enjoy listening to the sounds of nature –the trickling streams and the chirping birds were very pleasant and peaceful.
I finished the 6.5 mile trail run in 1 hour and 41 minutes to see my friend and the kiddos all cheering me on at the finish line. It was great! I ventured over to the food tables which were loaded with bagels, fruit and very generous bowls of wonderful chili (even offering seconds which I couldn’t resist). About 10 minutes after I finished they handed out raffle tickets for various prizes. I stuck around for a couple minutes but the cold air finally got to me and I had to leave before the raffle was finished and go get warmed up. There was free beer at the finish line, although I did not enjoy any this time around.
Overall I really enjoyed the race. After we left the race we went for a short hike at Silver Falls and
enjoyed the beauty there. The kiddo’s enjoyed walking behind the giant waterfall at the south falls which is one of my favorite parts of this park. It was a great little outing for everyone.
Mile Allen of Astoria, OR – 43:34
Juan Martinez of Salem, OR – 43:53
Thomas Ferrell of Portland, OR – 46:18
Amy Sproston of Portland, OR – 52:18
Sarah Johnson of Monmouth, OR – 57:54
Ember Stratton of Portland, OR – 58:33
Full results are posted here