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Race Preview: 2015 Silver Falls Challenge

There are a few things that make being a runner in the Pacific Northwest great. Mild weather, great views, friendly people, and some of the most beautiful parks. Many of the parks are heaven to run in, containing miles of trails and an escape from the city. We are even lucky enough to have carious races within these green patches of utopia, allowing us to get an organized event in a natural setting. One such location is Silver Falls State Park, and on June 6th at the 2015 Silver Falls Challenge, there will be a kids 1500m run, a 5K, and a 6 miler. Judging from my experience at this park, hills are guaranteed, as are amazing views. Half the fun is getting out there, as it is located in the wilderness about forty minutes east of Salem.  

Registration for the event is already open. The kids run is free and the longer runs are $35 each, plus a $3 sign up fee. It closes on June 1st, after that you can sign up at the event for an additional $5. The fee also includes a moisture wicking hat, guaranteed for those pre-registered but listed as ‘while supplies last’ for those procrastinating. Participants in the kids run must be registered ahead of time.

In honor of the race being held on state parks day, park entry is free and there will also be a free bbq. The kids run starts at 9, with the longer races beginning 30 minutes after. They advertise that the longer courses includes running behind a couple waterfalls and over bridges, as well as including a multitude of steps. Definitely not a race to be considered ‘flat and fast’. Overall winners get handmade awards and medals will be given to the top male and female participants in ten year brackets.

In June, the weather definitely tends to get warmer, which is another great reason to attend this event. This area is usually cooler than the rest of the valley, due to the forest. Personally, I would do the longer event to get the most ‘bang for my buck’ and see more of the park. The best plan is to definitely beat the price bump and register this month. Trails, a beautiful area, and a free bbq after, can’t go wrong with this event!

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