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Race Recap: Tonkin For the Love of Schools 5k (Wilsonville)

Tonkin Challenge 2015

It was an early Sunday morning start to the Tonkin Run 2015, but given the temperatures this week, I was glad to know that I’d be done running before it got too far into the 70’s. We had picked up our race bibs at the Tonkin Audi dealership on Saturday, picking up the event shirts was quick and easy on race morning. Day of race registration was still available as well. This year there was no parking on the Tonkin lot itself, but all runners were directed to parking lots less than half a mile away at a business center on Freeman Ct. 

5k Route (click to enlarge)

My fourth grade son had spent the last two months training for this event in an after-school running club, and a large group of his friends was close by when we started the 5k promptly at 7:30am. I appreciated the pace sign holders in the starting chute, which helped runners place themselves correctly in the pack. The updated race route was very nice, easy to follow, and mostly flat. The only hill of significance was the on-ramp to an interstate crossing bridge, but it was immediately followed by a downhill as well. The 5k turnaround point was a traffic roundabout where there was also a water station and a high school band playing music.

Being a fundraiser specifically for the public schools, this 5k had a higher than average number of participants under 18, and the field stretched out quite far. The atmosphere on the course was very supportive and relaxed. Spectators cheered at the finish line, and everybody received a beautiful finisher’s medal. Water was handed to each finisher right after exiting the finish chute as well.

The post-race activities and vendors were nicely set up in a circle courtyard set away slightly from the finish arch. Bananas, oranges, donut holes and PowerGels were set up on a table just inside the entrance to the courtyard. (It’s trashcan was overflowing by the time I walked by, and there was no recycle bin to separate out the water bottles.) Each participant was able to get a bowl of teriyaki noodles with chicken and a drink from No Ka Oi Catering and those of legal drinking age could choose a beer from RAM Restaurant.

Finisher’s medal

Awards were given to the overall top three finishers (male and female) for each of the three distances (5k, 10k, half marathon). Additionally, to encourage young people to keep moving and running, middle school and high school finishers got separate recognition. Not only did the top three finishers receive prizes from sponsors, but additional prize money will be donated to the athletics, music or arts program of the runner’s school.

I certainly enjoyed this run again this year. Everything went smoothly, I was able to find the places I needed to go to, and lines were short to reasonably long. The closed roads made the run safe for kids of all ages to participate, even if their parents weren’t staying right next to them, and in the places where runners and cars were sharing the road, very capable volunteers were keeping us safe as well.

Complete results can be found here.

Tonkin 5k start line

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