Race Preview: Roaring Run Half Marathon, 10K and 5K

Larwood Covered Bridge

Sometimes a race can be a great chance to get way from it all. The small town feel of a rural event gives a whole different view of the running community that can't often be found at the big races. A great event to experience this is at the Roaring Run. Located at Scio, outside of Salem, it is a bit of a drive for most, but the later start times alleviate the distance. With a 5K, 10K, and half marathon race on the schedule, they have something for everyone. The Roaring Run Half Marathon, 10K and 5K is on January 31st, a Saturday. They did just activate a price bump, but if you take a second and visit the site to register, you won't miss the one on January 1st.

Each of the race distances start at a different time, and there is even an early start option for the half. That begins at 8:30, with the ‘regular’ start occurring thirty minutes later. The 10K is at 9:30, and the 5K at 10. They are also advertising that the half course is USTF certified for the first time, and they will be utilizing chip timing. The awards will be at 11 and they will be honoring age group winners as well as the overall winners.

The races all start and end at Roaring River County park in Scio. Due to limited parking space there, they will be offering shuttle trips from nearby Lacomb school. Judging from my experience last year, I definitely recommend the shuttle. It is much safer than being forced to park on the shoulder of the road. The park is a nice place to be, but cover can be limited so I would recommend an umbrella if it looks like it will be a wet day. The potatoes offered are a great treat after a chilly run too!

I participated in the 10K last year, my first time at this event, as well as my first tmie running in this area. It was flat rural country, relatively scenic. Running through the covered bridge was a treat, the downhill finish is always a great way to end a race. Course marking was proficient and an added bonus to the isolation of the event was the roads were safe to run on due to lack of traffic. They do everything right and it is definitely a race worth returning to. You can find a recap of last years half here and the recap of the half marathon here. Some highlights from the reviews:

The drive actually wasn’t too bad, a straight shot down I5 and then some country roads that would have the guys from ‘American Pickers’ jealous. In a way, the area around Scio makes you feel like you’re going back in time, quiet and quaint.

The course itself was mostly flat, a few gradual climbs, nothing super steep. It was an off day for me, and I felt like I was running in slow motion, but if ever there’s a ‘good’ run for that, this one is it. I really got to take in everything around me.  The picturesque mountains in the background, fields all over the place, cows, chickens and barns, it was a fun change of scenery for this suburb running mom.  I think I saw two cars and one bus the entire run.  The streets weren’t closed; it’s just that rural out there.

Definitely worth a trip to Scio, it’s a well organized event, friendly people and a beautiful course.

Pricing is good for the distances, especially if you register in December. Costs are as follows: $35 for the half, $30 for the 10K, and $25 for the 5K. As a bonus, if you register someone between the ages of 7 and 18, their entry for any of the events is only $12.Make sure you beat the January price bump. Also, long sleeve tech shirts can be ordered for $15 if done before the 16th of January.

5 Comments on Race Preview: Roaring Run Half Marathon, 10K and 5K

  1. So excited to be participating in the half marathon for 2015!

  2. I would love to run a rural race. So far all of my races have been in NYC and even a charity 5k or 10k in Central Park draws thousands…I love the serenity of solo runs, and feel like a quieter race would be a great next step. Perhaps I’ll try to find one in a city I’ve been meaning to visit and make it an excuse for a trip…any in Oregon in the spring you’d recommend?

    • We have so many great rural events here in Oregon – regardless of the season! Depending on your timeframe and distance, here are a couple great ones with smallish crowds (less than 500):

      – Vortex Half Marathon in late March (new race but a GREAT race company)
      – Goat Mountain Gallop Half in April
      – Iris Festival Races (5k through Full Marathon, but half and full are the most rural and scenic)
      – Ridgeline Ramble in May (tough, but a beautiful trail run in the hills of Eugene)

      If you can get us more info on your preferred distances and timeframe, I’m certain we could find the ideal race for you!

      – Matt @ Run Oregon

    • There are *SO* many spring Oregon marathons and half marathons that are worthy of running in. In June, Pacific Crest marathon & half in Sunriver. Oregon Spring half marathon by Uberthons in May. The Eugene Marathon/Half in May. Candy Dahlia Half Marathon in August. Coburg Run in the Country in July, near Eugene. I can name a billion more if you want 🙂

    • Brian Bernier // December 30, 2014 at 9:21 PM //

      Oregon has dozens of small towns, and many host small races in the spring. Small races can have anywhere from 30 to 150 participants. They are a lot of fun. The first step would be for you to decide which part of Oregon you would like to explore!

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