Driving to and from Central Oregon last week put us in the direct path of the County Line 2 fire in Warm Springs. Driving along Highway 26, we saw flames within sight distance of the road and threatening homes and livelihoods. Despite the hot temperatures and big winds, firefighters all across the area were visible doing some of the most dangerous work on the planet – containing mother nature’s fury in an efficient and helpful way.
The 2015 Survive the Burn, held on Sunday, September 20th in Salem, directly supports families of Oregon firefighters injured while on the job, as well as supports child burn survivor programs. After seeing the fury of just this blaze up close, I can attest to the danger presented and the need for support for these causes.
The race is now in its 5th year, and was founded by a professional firefighter. Over the years, there have been just shy of 1100 total participants and almost $30,000 raised. While this is a solid amount, it pales in comparison to the need (there are 116,000 child burn injuries in the US alone each year). The event will be filled with local firefighters and will feature a 5k and 10k. The race will take runners through Riverfront Park, over the Union Street Pedestrian Bridge, and through Wallace Marine Park in West Salem before returning. The 10k will be a double loop of sorts. Here is a YouTube video of the course.
The day prior (9/19), there will be a race Kickoff party at Gilgamesh Brewing from 5-8pm with a free beer courtesy of your race entry. There will be pasta, beer, and salad to go along with music and brews. There will also be a post-race party at Riverfront Park following the race as well. Last year saw about 150 total runners, but I know this number can and should be higher. Do yourself a favor and come down to Salem in September to support a great cause.
I highly recommend you follow the race on Facebook, regardless of if you race or not, to see personal stories of the individuals volunteering their time and directly involved with this wonderful cause.