There are a LOT of races out there. And we tend to like most of them. We also tend to participate in more of them than an average runner, just because there are 16 of us and one of you. So here is a compilation of Run Oregon’s favorite 10K’s which are still running strong.
(In alphabetical order by each blogger’s last name:)
Kelly Barten: Because I like low-key races that benefit good causes, I’ve selected the Banks Linear Trail Run as my favorite 10k, run in Banks, Ore. Proceeds benefit Banks Elementary School’s technology programs, and the event is organized and staffed by volunteers. Best of all, the school’s Principal gets involved and based on student turnout, does any variety of goofy things at the race to the delight of the elementary kids. I recall one year he had to wear a tutu and ride a bike around the track. Pure silliness. The race course makes use of the super-flat Banks-Vernonia trail, a rails-to-trails project that is shaded and scenic. While there is also a 5k, the 10k is better because you get more time on the trail after and before the mile from Banks Elementary School to the Banks trailhead. You can already register online here for the 2016 race, scheduled for Saturday, May 14. Registration before is only $20 (with the shirt) before April 25.
Brian Bernier: The 10K is a fun distance, and the fact of its length can make any race a challenge. I generally do only a few of them a year, and there is one I have returned to for several years now. It is the Rum Run in Tigard, put on by Energy Events. The course is fun, mostly traversing the neighborhoods around Cook Park. Held in May, I see it as the unofficial start of the summer racing season. One of my favorite parts of this event is the atmosphere, with an obvious tropical theme and music to help the mood stay upbeat. It is a mid size run, and definitely very family friendly. Participants are of all speeds, and the age group medallions are handed out to many. This may not be a pr friendly event due to the route, but every other aspect is favorable so I am happy to continue attending and referring it to my friends for years to come.
Joe Dudman: The 10k is my nemesis. In all my years of racing, I have yet to perfect the 6.2 mile distance. So, if I had to pick my favorite 10k, why not choose a tough one? Of the four 10ks I ran in 2015, my favorite was the Oregon Road Runners Club’s Up The Lazy River 10k on Memorial Day. A long-running event, it serves as the ORRC’s masters championship, and prizes are awarded by age (not five year age groups), so everybody has a good chance of winning. The course is a nice loop on residential streets in West Linn and Lake Oswego, starting and finishing in Mary S. Young Park. The most memorable “landmark” is the formidable hill just past the 3-mile mark. If you can survive the hill and finish the last half of the race in strong shape, celebrate with the traditional pineapple and other great snacks at the finish.
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.