2014 Willamette Mission Trail Run Recap and Results

Most runners who race regularly tend to have a couple events that are staples of their schedule. It could be due to the location, date, terrain, competition, race directors or any other factors that make an event memorable and worth returning to. Personally, I race almost thirty times a year, and about ten of those are events that I allow to take preference over almost any other plans I could have going on. The Willamette Mission Trail Run has been decisively added to that list.

Willamette Mission Trail Run 2014

Shortly after the start of the race
Photo Credit: Ariel Wasson

After a couple days of scorching hot weather, thankfully the weather cooled down a bit the day of the race. To reach my goal of a higher mileage race day, I left my car at the Wheatland Ferry and ran the three miles on the roads to the start area, which also gave me a nice preview of the area and ready for the race conditions. I have previously never visited this park and I can definitely say I am missing out. Barring the factor that the dirt trails are shared with horses, this is one of the most beautiful places I have ever run.

Check in was quick and painless, as seems to be the norm for the folks at Run Wild Adventures. This is my second race with them ( the first being the Dirty Dozen obstacle course race), and I definitely like the way they run their events. Chili was already being warmed up, and there were bowls of bread waiting for us to finish. On the liquid replenishment side, there was beer on tap and Gatorade in the big orange coolers.


The female 5K winner
Photo Credit: Ariel Wasson

After a one mile warm up on the course, I stretched and did some exercises to loosen up. I knew this was not a PR course, but I was interested in running it hard. After the normal pre-race instructions, we were off. I started easy and let a few people go in front, to allow myself to fully loosen up before pushing it. The beginning was on road for a very short period of time, then went to a dirt trail that got muddy through the trees. Some of the mud pits were easy to circumvent, but a few were so big there was no escaping them. As with all my trail run, I was wearing my Skoras and they worked very well. I rarely had to worry about my footing and a minimal amount of clay stuck to them. I got in front for a short time, but then my VOQ Racing team mate, Eric Jeffers took the lead. He was doing the 5K while I was doing the 10, but I decided to run with him when he pushed the pace. The course had a lot of turns, but the elevation changes were minimal. Nevertheless, it was fun to run hard but brutal on the legs. Shortly before the 5K split off I felt warmed up and moved back into the front. The funny thing is, we both ran 6:03 pace in our respective races.


Eric Jeffers of VOQ Racing won the 5K
Photo Credit: Ariel Wasson

The trail alternated between soft dirt and a thin layer of almost sand like material. Mud was plentiful, but not so much that it was a hassle. There was one short section in the 10K where we crossed a rock creek bed that was hard to keep pace on. The furthermost portion of the course was bordering an orchard, mostly flat trail and some access road. I used this section to make up the time lost in the twisty sections of the run. The sun started peeking out at times, which raised the temperature a bit, but not enough to make it uncomfortable. After that section, we rejoined the 5K section for some narrower sections through the bushes and the most pronounced elevation changes. That could have just been a misperception due to fatigue though.

The abundant use of flour and cones made this a very easy course to follow. At no point in the event did I worry about being off track or going the wrong way. Definitely a notable achievement considering the numerous times the course branched off from and then rejoined. After another section through the trees we got back on the original path we headed out on about three quarters of a mile from the finish. The original mud pits were definitely a bit harder this time around but I was determined to have a strong finish. The almost unnoticeable decline on the way out was definitely more pronounced as we climbed out of the trees and along the field. Finishing on the gravel was a relief and then it was time to partake in the post race refreshments.


The last time I saw him, he placed right behind me at the obstacle race. This time, Jedaiah took 3rd in the 5K at 6:18 pace
Photo Credit: Ariel Wasson


Find the full list of finisher results here

5K Results

Overall Male Winners

1. Eric Jeffers, 18:48

2. Josh Christenson, 19:05

3. Jedaiah Wasson, 19:35

Overall Female Winners

1. Claudia Garcia, 22:54

2. Ami Angell, 23:55

3. Megan Wasson, 24:20

Male Masters Winners

1. Aaron Waugh, 20:55

2. Erik Scharffenberg, 20:56

3. Chad Hedberg, 21:25

Female Masters Winners

1. Amanda Pickar, 27:21

2. Carolyn Stapleton, 28:13

3. Cassy Hedberg, 28:20

10K Results

Overall Male Winners

1. Brian Bernier, 37:33

2. Don Gallogly*, 38:42

3. Hunter Bennett-Daggett, 38:47

Overall Female Winners

1. Stephanie Crawfordd, 42:40

2. Ember Stratton, 45:41

3. Eliza Smith, 46:52

Male Masters Winners

1. Mike Tyler, 40:35

2. John Ost, 41:19

3. Daniel Rideout, 45:46

Female Masters Winners

1. Carol Myers, 1:01:05

2. Karrla Sandstrom, 1:01:38

3. Therese Bauer, 1:01:59

‘*’ denotes masters

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