The packet pickup, held at Road Runners’ in Tualatin on Saturday, was well organized and ran smoothly. Runners were in and out in just a few minutes with goody bags in hand, that included samples from Clif Bar, BelVita, and Speed Stick, plus coupons for free Jamba Juice and Cinnabon Cinnamon rolls. Yum!
There was ample parking near the race start, and the Tualatin Police had roads blocked off and ready to go.This was my fourth year to run the Rum Run with my family, and my little group had runners participating in both distances. After a few years attending the same race you sort-of have a feel for how things go. I parked in the same place I always park, put on my bib, stretched, and made my way to the port-o-potty lines, before I found my pace group and lined up to wait.
The 10K had an 8:30 a.m. start, while the 5K started at 8:50. Both races had pace group signs with plenty of room to line up, and staggered starts which helped keep the runners from bunching up too much at the start.
Runners started on SW 84th St, and turned onto SW Boones Ferry Rd. before quickly leaving the road to run on the wide sidewalk along the edge of the Tualatin Community Park. After crossing the Tualatin River, we took a left turn and headed for Cook Park where we turned around and came back the same way we went out.
The 5K course was a fairly flat out-and-back starting and ending at the Tualatin Commons. Until last year, it was a mostly flat looped course with early, gradual elevation increases (and one small, but get-your-attention hill) followed by a long downhill along Boones Ferry Road and back into the Tualatin Commons. The course was changed last year, and unfortunately the same issues that were a problem crept back into play this year.
Once the 5K runners turn around to head back, they are going against the traffic of all the 5Kers who are still outbound. This is a significant issue for race leaders, but even middle-of-the-pack runners like me ended up trying to find running space and end up squeezing alongside the trail, running through bushes and trying not to step in any mole holes.
The races both finish with a loop around the Tualatin Commons “lake”. As soon as you cross the finish line you are met with a nice finish chute and volunteers handing you your race medal. The commons area was filled with different vendors, including one of my personal favorites, Jamba Juice, which was busy handing out samples.
Once most of the runners have crossed the finish line, there were 1K age-group races around the lake for the youngest runners, and let me tell you, some of those 4 year olds can move!
The Rum Run still has the best post race food. The super-yummy Shoyu Chicken and Rice provided by Roxy’s Island Grill, is the perfect refueling option. Protein, carbs, sugar, and it’s easy on my sensitive post-race stomach.
My only real frustration with this race is the distance. Neither the 10K or 5K are “true” distances, with the 5K showing 3.39 miles, and the 10K, 6.35 miles (according to the maps provided by the Rum Run website). Most of the 5K runners I talked with post-race shared the same GPS reading I had for the 5K: 3.34 miles. It’s frustrating for those who train for a distance and have a race goal, only to find the course long.
Despite an unfortunate incidence this year, overall this is a great race, which is well supported and very enjoyable. I’ll probably be attending the Rum Run (along with my family) again next year.