Fantastic flat trails and fast times: A Run Oregon preview of the 2015 Willamette Mission Trail Challenge

Sadly, it’s that time of the year again – the final stretch and final race of the racing series for Run Wild Adventures. Their winter racing series is closing up the season on Saturday, May 2 at the Willamette Mission Trail Challenge (10k/5k) in Salem.

The races are located on the trails of Willamette Mission State Park and offers up a great trail event with flat terrain – something that is a great test for speed, as well as for those who want to get their feet wet (so to speak) in the world of trail running. There is a great combination of trail maneuvering, elments (the severity of the water crossings will depend unpredictible Oregon spring weather). Brian ran the event last year and highlighted his glowing experience:

Barring the factor that the dirt trails are shared with horses, this is one of the most beautiful places I have ever run.

Check in was quick and painless, as seems to be the norm for the folks at Run Wild Adventures. This is my second race with them ( the first being the Dirty Dozen obstacle course race), and I definitely like the way they run their events. Chili was already being warmed up, and there were bowls of bread waiting for us to finish. On the liquid replenishment side, there was beer on tap and Gatorade in the big orange coolers.

The beginning was on road for a very short period of time, then went to a dirt trail that got muddy through the trees. Some of the mud pits were easy to circumvent, but a few were so big there was no escaping them.

At no point in the event did I worry about being off track or going the wrong way. Definitely a notable achievement considering the numerous times the course branched off from and then rejoined.

If you are still on the fence, just consider that this race is only $20 if you register prior to DOR. That gets you the race, free entry into the State Park, a solid-post race food and drink, raffle tickets, and an all-around great time. You will not be disappointed.

Willamette Mission Trail Challenge (Salem)
When: 9a on May 2
Where: Willamette Mission State Park
Register: Online here; $20 or $30 DOR

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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