Race Recap: 2015 Willamette Mission Trail Challenge

Thanks to @kelseydawn16 for the great Instagram picture!

For the second time in as many runnings, the sun shone down in amazing clarity and warmth at Run Wild Adventures winter race series, the Willamette Mission Trail Challenge 10k & 5k. While pre-2012 runs were extremely muddy, my participation in 2013 and this year provided a dry and sure-footed atmosphere, with only a few sections of mud along the way. The newly mowed and trimmed trails greeted runners of both distances as we circled the park. The first 3/4 mile is pretty slow, aside for the top handful of elite runners, as the trail is thin with only a few areas for passing. However, it is actually kind of nice, as the surrounding atmosphere is peaceful and meant to be taken in.

Thanks to Instagrammer @jnapplebee for this picture!

As the trail widened, we hit a large open field near the small Goose Lake, and followed along a dusty dirt trail bordering the park boundary before we disappeared back under the covered tree canopy. What may have been a river crossing, if conditions were different, was nothing more than a brief rocky path. The final few miles to the finish were the most “rolling” of the race but still pretty minor.

This race, now in its 6th year, is a fantastic trail race for both speedy runners and novices alike. I rarely have negatives with RWA races, as the RD’s are great, the locations are unique, and the events have a friendly local feel to it. Following the event, Seven Brides Brewing kept everyone cool with free beer and Great Harvest bread was served with chili. Sure it was before 10am, but I never say no to free beer and food.
Waiting for the rest of the runners to finish, I was bummed to think that this was the last RWA run of the season. But while the RWA race season may be over, registration is already open for the Detroit Lake Mud Run. This race is INCREDIBLE, the entry fee is cheap, and the course is amazing. Sign up now. Seriously. Do it now.

Check here for full results.


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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