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Happy, Hoppy, and Hot: Kicking off a running weekend in style with the 2015 Rogue Farms Independence Day 5k & 10k

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For a guy who lives and dies by the IPA, the 2015 Rogue Farms Independence Day 10k made perfect sense to kick off a three race holiday weekend. Run with Paula put on the event and placed it in a unique location with a neat course and a fantastic post-race atmosphere. Along with the 2015 Volcano Half Marathon, Paula is now 2 for 2 in putting on some great races.

I have been to the hopyards once before and remember thinking at that time, that this would be a great place for a race. The city address is listed as “Independence”, but it’s about 7 miles from the actual city – nestled in a remote corner of the countryside that backs up alongside the Willamette River. The road actually dead-ends at the farms, leaving a one-way trip to paradise.

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The setting itself is quite nice. I was shocked there was enough area to park all the cars, but volunteers were doing a great job getting everybody in there. Packet pick-up and registration, as well as the rest of the tents, outlined the medium size grassy area, which would later be filled by horseshoe players, cornhole games, and a giant scrabble match – not to mention by those who would be enjoying a complimentary Rogue Ale (8 different types to try, including their cider and mead!) and hamburger or garden burger.
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The race started just to the north of the field and the 10k was a double loop around the lush hopyards of Rogue Brewery (a single loop for 5k runners). We took off on some gravelly trails before giving way to the soft dirt on the outskirts of the fields. I think many of us were shocked about how soft and dusty things became. During the first loop, with tons of runners in a big pack, the result was a dust storm of sorts. I know many people were talking about “snotting” out dirty gunk from the noses and having a nice layer on the exposed parts of their bodies. I did not find it that bad during the second lap, when the field was thinned out.

The announcer stated that due to the hot and dry conditions, the farm was forced to utilize sprinklers more than normal, so there would be some spots that were muddy along the way. After mile 1, there was a short jaunt down one of the hop alleys and around a giant machine. This area was awesome and provided our first muddy shoe experience. Just shy of mile 2, there was asolid out and back stretch, which really allowed runners to peek at where they stood with their “competition”. It was also a great opportunity to give high-fives to those you know and encourage on those you didn’t.

We trekked along more dirt trails and past their pumpkin fields (which supply their famed seasonal Pumpkin Patch Ale). After navigating some more muddy sections, the final third of a mile was a super straightaway to the finish. Us 10k runners veered off just prior to complete our second lap.

Like I mentioned earlier, there was a great post-race spread and there was ton to do. All finishers got a sweet cotton blend tee and a Rogue pint glass. Live music was playing, people were eating and partaking in lawn games, and smiles were on all faces – dirty or not.

I was very pleased with the way the event came together and would encourage this race and location as one to keep on your mind when planning your holiday runs next year!

Full results can be found here. Here is a note from their page:

Due to some unforeseen natural forces, about 50 chip times were recorded without bib numbers. Please check out the results section “Unrecorded Times” if you participated and do not see your name. If you know your time, please send us a note with your bib number, name, and time and we will match you to your official time.

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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