If you haven’t been to Sweet Home recently (or at all), I would suggest taking a trek out to this small city in the Willamette Valley. When I was running the Hangover Run on New Year’s Day in Salem and noticed a kind lady in a Sweetheart Run race shirt. Afterwards, I asked if she was affiliated with the race and we ended up spending some time talking about their local race, Sweet Home’s 2015 Sweetheart Run on Valentine’s Day, February 14. If the event is as sweet as Patricia Gray, you can bet it will be a great race!
In case you are not familiar with Sweet home, it is a small community located in the East end of Linn County, Oregon. With a population of approximately 9,060 residents, Sweet Home, according Patricia, “is able to offer a unique and livable location for families who prefer a small town lifestyle, but unfortunately, the area is not able to offer many wage earning jobs. Many residents who work find themselves in local part-time minimum wage jobs, or having to commute to larger urban areas.”
“The largest employer in the area is the Sweet Home School District. While the shutdown of the logging industry has had a detrimental impact on the community over the past 25 years, Sweet Home hasn’t given up and still continues to reinvent itself with activities such as the annual Oregon Jamboree, the Hero Half Marathon run held on Memorial Day weekend, the Best in the West Triathalon and many revitalization partnerships with federal agencies to promote our recreational opportunities.”
The 10k course will start and finish at Sankey Park. It will be looped in nature, but feature a lot of turns in and out of local streets. I personally love a bunch of turns in races to keep me on my toes and guessing! The 5k course also begins and ends at Sankey Park and also get some solid turns in as well.
This is the inaugural race, but they plan to continue it on a yearly basis to help as a fundraiser for their Summer Parks and Recreation Program. The proceeds will provide scholarships for children who would not be able to participate due to financial hardships. The scholarships will purchase summer memberships to the Sweet Home Boys & Girls Club and pay for all costs associated with summer trips and activities. In the past, trips have included fishing activities, trips to the coast, fish hatchery tours, guided hikes to culturally significant sites such as the Cascadia Caves, and track and field activities. You can be absolutely certain your money will be put to use by those who need it most.
There will be double heart medals for 1st, 2nd & 3rdplace division winners, and jeweled tiaras and crowns for overall winners. Local vendors will have booths in Sankey Park to promote the local artists and craftsmen in the area. Basically, come for the run and stay for the fun!
Join the Facebook event here.
What: Sweetheart Run 5k/10K (Sweet Home)
When: Saturday, February 14th, 2015 @ 10:00am
Where: Historic Weddle Bridge at Sankey Park
877 14th Ave.
Sweet Home, OR 97386
Register: Online here or mail-in; $40 for 10k and $30 for 5k until race day; Shirts for $10