5k – July: The Freedom 5k is put on the Molalla Running Club and precedes Molalla’s Fourth of July parade. It was voted as Run Oregon’s favorite July race in 2013 and is the middle race in the Run Molalla Series (the first of which is the Goat Mountain Gallop – just around the corner on April 9).
The race starts at the local High School stadium and follows along the parade route. This means that runners will be cheered on by thousands of individuals making their way in town for the parade. It’s probably as close to Olympic Trials as most of us will ever see! You can register here for $26 or register for the race series for only $89. If you finish all 3 races, you will receive a special Run Molalla Series medal.
10k – June: Salem Summer Solstice 10k. This race has all sorts of awesome associated with it.
First, it takes place within Minto Brown Island Park. This is probably the best location to run in the Salem area, as there are a variety of paved, bark, and rock trails throughout the park. They are doing a major overhaul to the park, adding ever MORE paved trails, updating bark trails, and doing a lot of work with keeping the “Orange Turtle” area of the park from flooding – as it used to do consistently. I have run over here twice in the last few weeks, and it has held up so well. Additionally, they are currently constructing a bridge into the Park from downtown Salem, which will effectively connect three of the cities main parks (with an easy jaunt over to Bush Park as well). I can smell a marathon on the horizon. That is a lot of information to say that the 10k course at the Salem Summer Solstice will feature some well maintained and fun trails.
Second, the race is held on the Friday evening closest to the Summer Solstice – yielding often mid-week races after work. I can get behind that. This year’s event takes place Friday, July 24 (a Friday) and starts at 7pm.
Lastly, the race is cheap (currently only $12) AND comes with a post-race ice cream bar!
Half Marathon – June: Fueled by Fine Wine. This event is is NOT for the faint of heart. I mean, it runs through vineyards. Even if you don’t know much about wine, you probably realize the hills on which many of those beauriful tasting rooms are perched upon. So yes, expect hella inclines. But at the same time, it’s all bloody worth it. The views are incredible, the experience unique, and the reward of finishing is almost second to none. Add a wine festival afterwards
Register online here and do it SOON. This race has been selling out in advance over the past few years.
Odd Distance – August: High Street Hustle 8k. One new race that hit Salem this past year was the High Street Hustle. This event, which also featured a 5k and a 1k, was the first race to shut down Salem city streets in YEARS. It was about dang time. The race starts at the Oregon State Capitol and heads up the altitude-climbing High Street (it’s called “high” for a reason) before returning the capitol.
The race is hosted by Gallagher Fitness Resources, in conjunction with New Balance, Salem Health, the City of Salem and over 50 local business sponsors. Their goal has been to create a signature community wellness event that would bring the citizens of Salem and the surrounding area together to raise money and awareness for heart disease prevention and education in Marion and Polk Counties. With a 70’s theme (and costume contest), this is a great race for seasoned competitors and first-time event participants alike.