Preview: ORRC Best Dam Run 10k

Who likes finishers medals and downhill courses?


A view of the Clackamas River from the ORRC Best Dam Run course. Courtesy ORRC.

The 2014 ORRC Best Dam Run 10k will offer finishers medals for all runners and walkers that complete the race on Saturday, September 27th in Estacada, Ore. This long-running run has become a local favorite – the weather is always great that weekend, the race attracts a pretty competitive field, and it starts at a much more decent hour: 9:30a for the walkers and 10a for the runners.

Despite the breathtaking scenery, this race tends to attract runners who aren’t there for sight-seeing. It’s not uncommon for the winning time to be right around a five-minute mile pace or close to it!

Don’t worry, it’s not too late to sign up – you can sign up online here (which is preferred, to help in planning) and you can even sign up day of race. DOR registration is sure to be busy as many runners wake up to beautiful late September weather! DOR registration opens at 8:30a and will continue until it’s time for the last shuttle to head to the start (9a for walkers and 9:30a for runners).
First the vitals, then a course preview:

When: Saturday, September 27, 2014

What time: The bus to the start leaves City Hall at 475 SE Main Street and Highway 224 at 8:30a. Walkers will start at 9:30a and runners at 10a.
Where: Estacada City Hall
Register: Online here for $25 or DOR for $35
This race is part of the ORRC 10k Series. If you are registered for the Series, you are already signed up for this event and just need to check in and get your bib at the race.

This would make a cool shirt design … oh wait, it did!!!

Shuttles, gear check, and porta-potties
On race day, all participants will board one of the shuttles leaving from the finish line at Estacada City Hall (use 475 SE Main Street for your Garmin). Walkers should be on the shuttles starting at 8:30a and runners starting around 9a, because the walkers will start their event at 9:30a and the runners will start at 10a. (Of course, runners may take earlier shuttles especially if you want ample warm-up time.)
The bus will take you right to the event start, where you will have plenty of space to warm up and plenty of great views to keep you relaxed. In addition to the porta-potties at the start (before you board the bus) there will be porta-potties about 300 feet from the start, so you’ll be able to fit it in to your warm-up nicely; or if you’re not as concerned about your finish time you can use as you make your way along the course.
You will be able to leave your gear bags on the bus and they will be taken back to the finish line for you to pick up there. Everything left on the bus or checked at the start will be waiting for you at the finish line; however please refrain from bringing anything of value onto the buses. Leave your wallets, cell phones, etc. in your car unless you plan to run with them.
Race start and course
Now, when the walkers get started, they will be instructed to stay over as the runners pass them by. The walkers, as mentioned, will start at 9:30 with the runners following at 10a. So walkers – please do try to walk no more than 2 abreast as the more competitive runners zoom by you; runners, try to remember to announce your passing if any walkers get to chatting and forget this. It has never been a problem for racers in the past, but it’s always worth the reminder!
The race starts from a point on Highway 224 just above the North Fork Reservoir and the North Fork Dam on the Clackamas River. The route sweeps quickly down from the highway to E. Faraday Road, on which your run will follow the curves of the Reservoir, pass the Dam, and then trace the path of the Clackamas River. There will be mile markers for you to measure your pace; you can expect mile 1 before you pass by the Dam itself and mile 2 just before a tighter curve turns to the right and heads more north.
It is near mile 2 you will see your first aid station; you’ll still be enjoying the views along the river and still be enjoying the gentle downhill course. As you continue past mile 3 and approach mile 4, you’ll likely see another wide spot in the river; this is the Faraday Forebay and before long you’ll see another beautiful sight: the 2nd aid station!
Shortly into mile 5 you will rejoin Highway 224 on your adventure running or walking back into the city of Estacada. Don’t be fooled by a few short climbs of 20-30 feet; you’re still running downhill. Highway 211 (the Woodburn-Estacada Highway) bridge will appear ahead of you spanning the river; there you’ll be near the six-mile mark and on your way into town. By the time you pass the Cazadero Inn and Subway, you’ll have less than a half mile to go and it will be time to turn on the jets; your turn onto N. Broadway Street is less than two blocks to where volunteers will take your tear tags and Russ Zornick will be clocking your finish time.
At the finish, be sure to enjoy the water and fruit; get your finisher medal and pick up any gear you may have left on the bus. As with all ORRC events, there will be an awards ceremony with ribbons for the top six finishers in each age group for both men and women.
About Author

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.

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