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Race Preview: 2015 SOVAH 5K/10K Family Trail Run/Walk & Run for our Heroes Kids Dash

I love local races. The Salem/Keizer area continues to grow it's running community and racing scene with each passing year. The 3rd Annual SOVAH 5K/10K Family Trail Run/Walk & Run for our Heroes Kids Dash. As with year's past, this event continues to grow little by little and combines the challenge of a trail run, with a smooth paved route to finish.

Keizer Rapids Park is a great place for a race and it conitnues to grow. There is now a boat launch area and a newly constructed GIANT kid’s playground. The area has significant areas of shade – something we should all be appreciating right about now.

The race once again profits (SOVAH) Serving Our Veterans at Home -a non-profit organization that supports those with barriers that are not consistent with civilian life. New this year, the race is making the obvious connection by partnering with Team RWB. I ran the inaugural event and it has grown from that point. However, here are some highlights that fit in nicely for this year:

Here is some highlights from my running of the of the 2013 event:

The course featured a wide range of terrains – the first of which was a mile of well paved walking trails. There was a loop around the boat launch area and the open field in the SE corner of the park before we hit the canopy of trees that flank the Willamette River.

The paved path gave way to a dirt and small gravel path following mile 1. My daughter didn’t seem to mind the change over to the more uneven path even though it took her a few head smacks to the side of the stroller to figure out how she needed to settle herself in. There was a small water station before heading past the Disc Golf parking area.

After a quick section on gravel road, the terrain turned into a single lane dirt trail. While it was well maintained, it did feature a few tree roots and a few down and up hills that slowed up me and the stroller. I found the trail to be well-marked with orange markers and paint, but I did overhear afterwards that a few people took the wrong path at a few forks.

Following the jaunt through the forested trail, we were spit out onto more gravel, but this time the rocks were much bigger and caused some stroller navigation issues. We were passed by a few runners along this medium stretch leading up to mile 2. The final surge before returning to the paved path was an extremely short, yet steep up and down hill that was definitely a brief challenge.

Overall, we had a great time at this local race.

There will also be a silent auction again this year with some great options suuch including a 2 night vacation package to Chinook Wind Casino, golf, and gift cards to a delicious steakhouse!
When: 925a for 5k and 940a for 10k
Where: Keizer Rapids Park
Register: Online here; 5K $30 (Veteran discount $20); 10K $35 (Veteran discount $25); Youth 13 & under $20 for both distances

Can’t attend the run? Make a donation here!


About Matt Rasmussen (1527 Articles)
Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching the Olympics, sampling craft beers, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010. Matt joined the Run Oregon team in October 2011, and since then he has spearheaded the blog’s efforts to cover product reviews, news about businesses related to running, and running events in the Willamette Valley.

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