Geli Heidelberger: In 2015, I ran five 10k races, and my favorite one of them ended up being the one I was least excited about going in. Terrapin’s inaugural Country Girl 10k and Half Marathon is run in North Portland around the west and north end of the Portland International Airport. The course was scenic and flat, and running along the river was very relaxing. While I didn’t PR, it was my fastest 10k of the year. The start/finish area was laid out well with plenty of parking in a lot just a few steps away. After the race we were treated to beer, cider, mimosas, pancakes, and other snacks while a band was playing country music. The race had a very fun and supportive atmosphere, and the four hour course limit (18 min/mile) makes it a great event for the first time half marathoner.
Jessica Mumme: My favorite 10k that took place in 2015 was the Holiday Half and Hustle 10k, by Pink Buffalo Racing. This event features a half marathon, 10k and 5k event, and takes place on the quiet multi-use paths in Eugene along the Fern Ridge trail. Participants were dressed up in holiday flair, and it is great to have a holiday related event in Eugene. This course is exceptionally flat, fast, and has enthusiastic volunteers. And – 2 aid stations for the 10k! Love it!
Rachel Peters : One of my favorite 10K’s is Albertina Kerr’s Race for the Races. This event supports Portland’s Albertina Kerr, known for their service to children and adults with developmental disabilities and mental health challenges. I absolutely love races that support a good cause, and this race does just that with 100% of its proceeds going towards the non-profit organization. The race itself is a very popular one among racers, and it’s easy to see why. The course winds through much of NW Portland, starting out crossing the Broadway Bridge and finishing across the Steel Bridge. Race participants are treated to the post race party in the Oregon Convention Center which includes loads of yummy food, music, and most importantly, mimosas! The event in 2016 will take place April 17.
Matt Rasmussen: The Willamette Mission Trail Challenge (put on by Run Wild Adventures), is one of my favorite 10k’s. The event itself also has a 5k option, but the longer distance really offers for some great trail running. The event is the last on the RWA racing calendar each May, and is held at Willamette Mission State Park, which is just north of Keizer. Even though the race is mere minutes from my home, it is one which I would make the trek to run even if it wasn’t. Though the course is mostly flat, there is a great opportunity to combine trail maneuvering with mother nature (the severity of the water crossings will depend upon the unpredictible Oregon spring weather). The 7th annual running will be upcoming in 2016 and is always affordable ($20).
Drew Roberts: This year, the Sisters Kiwanis put on the first ever Black Butte Challenge 10K, which was held in the middle of September. For those of you who are not familiar with Black Butte (just west of Sisters, Oregon), it is a subtle little butte that rises over 3,200 feet above the surrounding areas of Black Butte Ranch and Camp Sherman. To a runner who loves trails and hills, this is your dream run because it is a perpetual hill on 100% trails until the finish with no relief….until you have to run 3 miles back down to the shuttle van after you finish the 10K. With the exception of the race actually being more like a 10K butt kicker with a 5K cool down, the organizers were brilliant, with volunteers everywhere. The race was well attended, the weather was perfect, there were tons of snacks and water at the top and then a BBQ at Camp Sherman afterwards. Watch for this one in 2016, it is definitely a worthy challenge for such a short distance.
Annette Vaughan: This year I ran the Molalla River Trail Race 10K for the first time and loved it! Held in mid-October, this race includes a 5K and a half marathon also. The area is beautiful and secluded from the rest of the world. The route starts out with a wide open trail, easy for running side by side with other runners, then later changes to single track. This race features a hill known as “the wall,” a 500 foot hill that lasts for 3/4 of a mile. The rest of the course includes a variety of ups and downs, wrapping up with some sweet downhill. Afterwards, there was warm chicken noodle soup available. Participants received a really nice beanie in place of shirts this year and a finisher’s medal. Age group winners went home with cool handmade Bigfoot medals. The atmosphere at this race was positive and fun. Even Bigfoot got involved, high-fiving runners along the trail. The Molalla River Trail Race is 100% non-profit, with proceeds going back to the community and the trail system.
Teresa Wymetalek: My favorite 10k is the Ladybug Run which usually takes place in July at Cook Park in Tigard. The course is pretty, taking advantage of forested paths and views of the Tualatin River. The costumes are fun and entertaining and prove you’re never too old to dress up as a ladybug. I know a lot of runs have fun themes and offer a good course, but this one is my favorite because of the cause. All of the proceeds from the Ladybug 10k go directly towards children affected by Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH), their families and funding further research. Named after a wing in the hospital that cares for children with CDH, the Ladybug Run is an event you can feel good running. I’m clearly not the only one who feels this way since this run sells out, which is especially impressive since it’s a young event. Register early and feel good making a difference with the Ladybug 10k.
Tung Yin: My most memorable race of 2015 happened to be a 10K (the Mommathon), but my favorite 10K race is the Turkeython. What could be better than a good dose of running first thing in the morning before eating lots of Thanksgiving food? Over five years, it’s been held at three different locations, but each time there has been ample parking, great support for racers, increasingly fancy finishers’ medals, and pies.