After finding a parking spot (which was a breeze) I very briefly scoped out the site. Bathrooms were available, both porta potties and actual flushing toilets, which is always a plus in my book. I neglected to use the bag check in because I somehow did not see the tag at the bottom of my bib that clearly indicated there was a bag check in (eye roll at myself), but there was definitely bag check for the smarter, more observant race participants which was located under the main covered structure near the start/finish. Runners who had not picked up their bibs at the packet pick up locations earlier in the week could do so also at the covered structure near bag check.
Right before the start of the 20 and 30k, the race announcer reminded everyone of the course change as indicated in an e-mail that had gone out earlier in the week. Due to a bridge being out of service, race participants would be using a 5k loop to be completed multiple times; 2 laps for 10k runners, 4 laps for 20k runners, and 6 laps for the brave 30k runners. As a 20k runner myself, I was a little weary at the idea of running 4 loops of the same thing, but was optimistic because Champoeg park is pretty darn gorgeous.
The course itself ran through various parts of the park, some parts more scenic than others. There were multiple water stations available where volunteers and some friendly Boy Scouts offered options of water, Gatorade, and even soda. I’m curious to know if anyone actually chose to incorporate the soda into their race plan. For how many racers there seemed to be in both the 20k and 30k there never seemed to be any pile-ups or collisions, even with the two u-turns included in the race course. After completing one loop, I was feeling pretty good, but unfortunately a random side stitch decided my good times needed to come to a halt. The side stitch was an off and on nag throughout the rest of the race and I think feeling crummy seemed to heighten my awareness that I would be running the same loop 3 more times. The ending of the race seemed like ages away, but I pushed through.
Aside from its location and overall organization, one thing I especially loved about the race was how friendly everyone was throughout; volunteers and race participants. There were multiple occasions where I passed fellow runners who would quickly shout out a “good job” my way. I know that friendly people come in abundance at most races, but I really felt the support throughout this race. You really do meet some of the kindest people in the running community which makes the running experience 1,000 times more enjoyable. It was great to also see a couple familiar faces before and after the race.
For those who like having their official time right away, Huber timing sent race participants an e-mail with their results the minute you crossed the finish line, which was pretty awesome. Along with a finishers medal, race participants were treated to post race offerings that included 3 varieties of hot soup, bagels, fruit, cookies, and other assorted goodies. Prizes such as beanies, socks, etc were also raffled off. I believe there were age group awards along with overall finishers awards given out, but I must have missed when they did that.
I think that the overall camaraderie of the race is what really won me over and would encourage me to sign up for more ORRC races (this was my first one) in the future. I could definitely see myself running this race again next year as well, hopefully the 10k course will be available at that time. I felt like this event was further evidence that there are some pretty amazing people in the running community and I am so grateful to be a part of it all.
For full results and photos click here