The Lake Oswego Country Club Mile is the third our Virtual Race Series, coming after the Portland Waterfront Loop Virtual Time Trial and the Tualatin Hills Nature Par Time Trial.
What’s a better distance for a time trial than a mile? And what’s more fun (and fast) than a slightly downhill, point-to-point mile on the roads? If you’re looking to test your speed over 5280 feet (give or take a foot or two), try this route along Country Club Rd. in Lake Oswego.
Having driven down this stretch of road innumerable times, I always thought it would be a perfect place to run a fast mile. The course has several things going for it: It’s a straight shot, with only the very slightest gentle curves; it’s a net downhill, but not too steep, and with a couple mild rises to break things up and keep you honest; and there are no major cross-streets, just a few lightly-traveled side streets on one side of the road.
There is ample parking at the start and the finish. I recommend parking near the finish at the intersection of Country Club Rd. and Iron Mountain Blvd. and getting in a mile warmup up Country Club Rd. to the start in front of Lake Oswego High School.
Start your run on the north side of Country Club Rd. at the stop light line at the base of the Lake Oswego High School driveway (the line for cars, NOT the cross walk – this way you don’t have to deal with cars leaving the school).
Head east (downhill – it’s not flat as a pancake*), running on the sidewalk, or in the bike lane if bike and auto traffic allow. The sidewalk is a little rough in spots, and there are several driveways and a few side streets, so watch your step, be aware of the curbs, and keep an eye out for oncoming bikes and turning cars.
*[Bonus points if you get that musical reference]
Stay on Country Club Rd. (sidewalks or bike lane) as it curves gently, push the downhill, and power up the slight inclines that come roughly every quarter-mile. Cresting the final rise, you will see the major intersection at Iron Mountain Blvd. This is the time to put it in top gear and charge downhill to the finish, located a little before you reach the intersection, at the end of the white fence visible in the photo below:
With five stop streets coming together just past the finish, chances are your efforts will be noticed as you cross the virtual line and catch your breath. Chances are also good for a mile PR on this straight and downhill course. And if any of the local race companies are reading this, an event permit and a blocked off lane would make for a fantastic annual street mile race.