Race Preview: Homer’s Classic 8k


“Why you little…”


While these quotations may all be “classic Homer”, the Homer’s Classic, while interestingly is named after the cartoonist Homer Davenport, is a great 8k (and 2-mile) race held on Sunday, August 3, in Silverton.  The Homer’s Classic is in it’s 31st year of running and features a variety of fun and runner-friendly characteristics.

Both races start and end at the Silverton H.S. track. 8k runners will cross the Gallon House Covered Bridge, the only original covered bridge in Marion County, twice on an out-and-back course set on flat, country roads. There will be an Olympic-style on-the-track finish for both races as well. Check out the course maps here.  Watermelon slices and Mexican pastries are served at the finish. 

I ran this race last year and had a great time pushing my daughters in the stroller, until the wheel fell off! Here are some highlights from my 2013 experience:

The race began on the old Silverton High School track, offering lots of parking, room for warm up, and seating for spectators. The weather was probably a bit hot for runner standards (approaching 70 by 9am), but it brought a wonderful morning glow and blue skies to this country-infused race…I have always loved Silverton as a town and this race really did the city justice. While it did not hit the lovely downtown area, it showcased some really beautiful surrounding areas that highlight what the Silverton area is all about.
After circling around the track and hitting a short stretch of grass and gravel, we headed north on quiet James Road – a straight stretch that led onto Hobart Road. One of Silverton’s finest was blocking traffic as we were able to take up a whole lane of traffic. In fact, even though they were holding up cars at the “busiest” intersections, I think I only saw one or two pass throughout the entire 5 miles. Not too shabby.
After a slight bend in the road, we veered off onto Gallon House Road, a smaller and equally desolate paved road. My daughters enjoyed looking for animals along this stretch and were greeted with cows, goats, and one alpaca (llama?). I had them on the lookout for the Gallon House Bridge, the oldest wooden covered bridge in Marion County. This 84 foot bridge was built in 1916 and was actually got its name during prohibition when it was a meeting place for bootleggers and moonshiners.
These races coincide with the Homer Davenport Community Festival (better known as Davenport Days) and features an art & craft fair, a parade (on Saturday), davenport (i.e. couch) races, a food court, art exhibits, a vintage car show, live music and many other activities. Or if festivals aren’t your thing, you can head on over to the beautiful Oregon Garden for a nice peaceful cool-down stroll. If you haven’t been out to the wonderful small town of Silverton (or ran in one of their many great local races), now is definitely the time to do so.

Homer’s Classic continues to be a major source of income for the cross country and track and field programs at the two area high schools – Silverton HS and Kennedy HS (in the nearby city of Mt. Angel).


Homer’s Classic (Silverton)
When: 9a
Where:Old Silverton High School beginning on the track (802 Schlador Street)
Register: Online here or mail-in; $15 ($28 with tech shirt) *Must be postmarked by 7/29; DOR add $5
About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

%d bloggers like this: