Preview: ORRC Garlic Festival 5k/10k in North Plains

Garlic Festival 2011 race – a photo from the first mile of the 10k (Kelly Barten)

The ORRC Garlic Festival is returning this August 9th – a Saturday – with the usual 10k and new this year a 5k to replace the 2-miler. On the roster for both the ORRC 10k Series and 5k Series, this will likely be a good-sized event of around 300 participants or more. Like all ORRC events, there is a discount offered to ORRC members who sign up online ahead of time.

The 10k course has its fair share of hills as it loops north and west of North Plains around Pumpkin Ridge Golf Course. It’s a very pretty course for the first five miles; and that last mile – well, if you didn’t go out too fast you’ll like it. There are just enough turns in that last mile to keep it interesting!

The 5k course pretty much follows the perimeter of North Plains. It’s a very flat town, so you’ll be able to use this race if you’re trying for a PR.

“Fun Stinks” is the slogan for the ORRC Garlic Festival 10k/5k,  because of all the elephant garlic grown in the North Plains, Ore. area. (I, personally, think garlic is wonderful and not “stinky” … “aromatic” is a better word!)

Around the mid-way point of the ORRC Garlic Festival 10k. (Kelly Barten)

The 10k starts at the corner of NW 311th and Wascoe in North Plains at the Jesse Mays Community Center. There are a few turns in the first few blocks to put you onto Glencoe/Shadybrook. From there it’s a straight shot past mile 1 and then a gentle curve putting you on Pumpkin Ridge Road around mile 1.5. Up until this point, it’s been pretty flat, with even some nice little downhill sections. But at 1.5, that all changes.

The climb goes from 200 feet, leveling out around 400 feet for about an eighth of a mile past 2.5 and then climbing up to 500 feet right at mile 3. Consider this the half-way point, because it’s the top of the hill. You may not see it coming, because mile 3 is right around the corner as you turn left of Pumpkin Ridge Road onto Pumpkin Ridge Drive.
Starting at mile 3, you get to come down the back side of that hill you just climbed. It’s a pretty steep downhill, with a break for your legs at around 3.5 and a break in the route with a few wide turns, following Pumpkin Ridge Drive. A slight uphill just after 3.5 will give you your energy back and make you more appreciative of the rest of the downhill that will help you coast all the way to mile 5. The downhill gets less steep the closer you get to 5, but since you’ll almost be done try to maintain your pace!
Between miles 4 and 5 you’ll be running on Pumpkin Ridge Road again – even though now you’re on the complete west side of the golf course. Take a moment to look to your left and enjoy the beauty of the course. (It’s prettier when you’re not fighting with your swing, I promise.) You’ll hit mile 5 directly west of Lind Reservoir and before turning on Mountainside Road. A third of a mile after joining Mountainside, it’s a left turn onto North Ave. past a school and some quiet residential streets leading off to your left. Stay to the left (you can run on the road, or if you’re more comfortable, on the sidewalk – but then you’ll have to dodge the cheering supporters and their pups) and once you get to Main Street, you’ll know it’s time to push.
At Main Street, you have only about a quarter mile to go. A turn on 311th and then a quick turn onto Wascoe to lead you into the finish chute and you’re done!
The 5k will start out the same, but at Glencoe, turns right (south) instead of left. The first mile has only about five turns, two of which are right after the start; the second has six; and the third pretty much has one turn until you’re in the last quarter mile when you have to zig zag a few blocks to the finish. If a long, straight road lets you focus, you’ll like this 5k. If a long, straight road makes your legs feel heavy and the finish further away, you should probably sign up to volunteer instead.
Here are the vitals:
When: Saturday, August 9, 2014
What time: 8a for both races
Where: The start/finish is at the Jesse Mays Community Center at 30955 NW Hillcrest (for address purposes) and the corner of NW 311th and NW Wascoe (for walking purposes), in North Plains, Ore.
Register: Online here by 8/6/11 for $20 for ORRC members and $25 for non-members. You can also register DOR starting at 7a for $30.
P.S. I highly recommend bringing a few brown paper bags and going to pick peaches after the race at a nearby orchard. Jossy Farms is nearby and a lot of fun with friends or family … and they have a little jar you can feed with money for the peaches you eat while out picking!
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We started the Run Oregon blog in February 2007, because felt like running in Oregon and SW Washington deserved more positive coverage. We also wanted to level the playing field so that small, non-profit races could compete with big events; and to support local race organizers.