Race Preview: 2016 Sweetheart Run 10k/5k – A sweetheart of a race in a sweetheart of a town

My wife is going to be out of town this upcoming Valentine’s Day weekend, but that doesn’t mean I will be alone. I officially have a date with Sweet Home’s 2016 Sweetheart Run. This event is back for it’s second year in the sleepy town of Sweet Home (about an hour from Salem and 45 minutes from Eugene).

I spoke with the race director in 2015 who started the race as a way to help support the community. It is hosted by the City of Sweet Home Parks and Recreation Department and the proceeds go to summer recreation programs to get local kids out and about AND keep them from getting in trouble. This is especially beneficial for locals as, though the area is beautiful and the people are great, the location and size of the area makes it difficult for residents to achieve wage earning jobs.  Many residents who work find themselves in local part-time minimum wage jobs, or having to commute to larger urban areas.

The courses are still pending, but are expected to stay relatively similar. (Note: As of 1/22 the course map has been posted. Click here to view it.) The 5k course begins and ends at Sankey Park and will feature some turns in and out of local streets. The 10k is similar, but has been molded a bit so that runners will see another area of Sweet Home.  It will be a straighter route down Long Street with a lollypop turn-around.  Eclectic Edge will be providing the timing, so expect quick results and a great vibe.

Sweet Home Fire and Ambulance will be keeping runners safe along the streets and there will be water availability along the way. Each participant will receive a medal, as well as a specialized medal for the top three finishers in each age group for both the 5K and the 10K. Special crowns and tiaras will be given to the overall winners (my daughter will be in heaven!).

Dogs are not allowed, but strollers are (which is how I will be running this). – For the safety of all participants, dogs are not allowed on the race course. There will be light refreshments post-race , as well as a warming tent – something that is always appreciated in unpredictable Oregon Februarys.

The community is on board as well, and they are gathering great raffle prizes from local Sweet Home merchants. Join the Facebook event here for all the latest information.


What: Sweetheart Run 5k/10K (Sweet Home)
When: Saturday, February 13th, 2016 @ 10:30am
Where: Historic Weddle Bridge at Sankey Park (877 14th Ave. Sweet Home, OR 97386)
Register: Online here or mail-in;$40 for 10k and $30 for 5k until race day (add $10 DOR); Shirts for $10

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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