Guest Recap: 2015 Molalla River Trail Race

This recap was submitted by Run Oregon reader Brad Schrock. Feel free to Submit a Guest Post in the “Contact Us” tab if you are wanting to write a preview or recap your running experiences as well!

First a disclaimer: it has been quite a few years since I did any serious running. These days I just look for a few fun runs to do. I like obstacle courses and am trying trail running also. I am not fast enough to be competitive, but I run to have a good time and challenge myself.

So as a result, I competed in the Molalla River Trail Race this past October. It is a race sponsored by the Molalla Running Club.  It is held in the Molalla River Trail System at the Hardy Creek Trailhead. There is some limited parking close to the trailhead, but the club uses the school system buses to shuttle people from the Foothills Community Church in Molalla to the trailhead. I highly recommend using the shuttle. There is very little waiting, and it makes for an easy commute. The church is open when you arrive in the morning (so bathroom facilities are available after the drive over), but it is closed when you get shuttled back after the race. There are also a couple of camping areas that are close to the trailhead that are worth checking out if you are into camping the night before – the club provides information on those.

The event itslf has three distances – a half marathon, a 10k, and a 5k. The 2015 race was $40 to enter, and the race-goods comprised a beanie hat with the trail race logo. The hat is fleece lined, and is pretty sweet.

Some things to note if you consider going next year:

  • The gear check is great – they check the gear into the trailer and check it out.
  • There is plenty of bottled water available.
  • The 5k allows walkers. There are no bathroom facilities during the race, only at the staging area.
  • There are ample water stations (some with Gatorade) and they did have some running gel too.

The first 2-ish miles is a pretty easy wide trail with a gentle incline. At around 2.25 miles you hit “The Wall” which climbs 500 vertical feet over 3/4 of a mile. Now, I usually have hills in my runs, but I knew from past hiking experience that a 500 foot hill is going to be significant (I walked probably a minute of it – as was everyone around me was walking quite a bit of it).

While it was intimidating, there were plenty of signs to laugh at on your way up, such as, “It’s a hill, get over it” [editors note: Joe Dudman would be happy with this sign]. After “The Wall”, the rest of the race is mostly single trail, and fairly easy except for a couple of steep declines. It is a fun race, but you have to watch your footing on the single trail portion. The race finishes up on part of the same wide trail that you went out on.

My takeaway? Running on trails is fun. I will do more of it and I will probably do this race again. It is great to be out in the woods.

Oh yeah, most importantly, hot chicken noodle soup will be waiting for you when you finish, and MAN does it go down good.

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