The 2015 Couples Shuffle 10k relay is a race for singles and lovers alike – and while this wasn’t speed dating, there was plenty of fun and excitement. On Saturday, February 7th, couples relayed and singles ran one of the tougher 5ks I have endured. With a special appearance from cupid, and even a kids run the event was a major hit for everyone. Nestled in the outskirts of Medford is Griffin Creek Elementary and that’s where the fun started.
First I would like to give a shout out to mother nature for the nice day, because as the locals know the day before the race was filled with pouring rain and wind gusts that knocked over trees. Packet pickup was at the school in the cafeteria where there was a couple vendors and snacks as well. The race is put on by Southern Oregon Runners and did not disappoint. With the free kids fun run starting at 8:50 the kiddos got a lap in around the track and each finisher received free passes to Kid Time! and ABK for open swim. At 9:00 the 5k runners and first leg relay runners lined up. I ran the race with my wife, and decided to take the 2nd leg so I hung around and waited for the runners to finish the first leg.
The course is a gradual climb with a tough hill at the turnaround, making the second half the easier part of the run. I have lived in Medford now for 10 years, and am embarrassed to say I have never been out this way for a run – which is unfortunate because the course is a nice backroads area. The course was clearly marked with volunteers at the turns, and the only concern I had was there wasn’t much running room on the sides of the road and cars were not being runner friendly.
After the run folks met back in the cafeteria for truffles, brownies from the Avo Shack, oranges, water, coffee, and beads for finishers. Cupid also made an appearance to cheer on runners and for photo ops. As a first timer to this event it was fun to compete alongside my wife. She doesn’t run much, but had fun and was a good sport coming out and joining me in what I love to do. I also think doing it the week before and not on Valentine’s day was a good move on the part of the race directors.