Not much has changed over the past half-century. All races begin and end at the Spring Valley Community Center. The 3 miler and 6 miler are both out-and-backs that start at the community center and head south along Spring Valley Road. While these courses are straight forward, it is good to note that there are some challenging rolling hills along the way.
Speaking of rolling hills, the 15k also has it’s fair share of climbs (and thus declines as well). My 15k recap of the 2014 event was Super Bowl themed. Here is an excerpt from my experience (just as reference, I was pretending that my recap was a transcription of the Super Bowl media crew “announcing” and “analyzing” the race):
Erin: Thanks Joe. I’m over here at the Spring Valley Community Center in Salem. The weather at race time today is overcast, but pretty ideal for the 319 runners who are participating today. The line of cars parked along the road are too numerous to count and the busses shuttling runners are packed to the brim. By my count there are 93 runners heading north for the 15k, and another 226 runners heading south for the 6 mile and 3 mile runs (95 and 131 respectively). And they are off!
Joe: Thanks Erin. Troy, from the looks of the courses, it appears that the 15k runners will face an uphill battle.
Troy: That’s correct Joe, especially over the first 3 miles. It is this challenge that each runner will have to figure out how to overcome. From the looks of things, there are quite a few deciding to tackle this incline with full force, in an effort to separate themselves from the pack.
My recap was a personal take on humor, so I recommend checking it out to get an idea of the run (as well as my possible lame attempt at humor). The 15k is a big loop in the quiet and secluded hills. It passes 5 wineries along the way and is really peaceful and serene. The course is about 80% paved, but there is a solid section of dirt/rock road that adds to the challenge as well. I love this quote from our blogger Brian’s 2012 recap of the event, he stated that “The 15K made the term ‘rolling hills’ an overt threat as the first 3 miles were practically all uphill.”
Note that parking is always a challenge and it is guaranteed that cars will line the road, so plan your trip accordingly. They have started providing shuttles available from the nearby Noble Mountain Tree Farm in an effort to avoid runners from needing to hike just to get to the start line.
Follow the race on Facebook for some updates. Prices increase on January 2, so even though the race is cheap, save yourself some money by registering early nonetheless.
Zena Road Runs 15k, 6-Miler and 3-Miler (15k, 6m, and 3m)Salem)
Where: Spring Valley Community Center
Register: Online registration or mail-in is open through. $15 through 1/2/15, $20 from 1/3-1/29, $25 DOR; $25 for long-sleeve tech shirt (must register by 1/16 for shirt).