I don’t know about you, but racing/running on holidays is one of my favorite things. I think it is the fact that, on a day (Thanksgiving, New Year’s, etc.) where I know I am going to be participating in less than healthy options (food, drinks, etc.), it is nice to get out there in the morning and start the day off right. The 2016 ORRC 5 on the 4th kicked off this year’s Independence Day with a nice low-key 5k to get the running and patriotic juices flowing.
100+ participants (including my daughter and me), lined up at the Mentor Graphics campus in Wilsonville, to tackle the looped 5k and kid’s race. The weather was surprisingly runner-friendly – an overcast 59 degrees at start with a short mini-drizzle. First on the docket was a free ¼ mile out-and-back kid’s run on a paved trail near the start. My daughter ended up taking 4th and was thrilled with her festive finisher’s medal and American flag prize.
Shortly after the finish of the kid’s race, the 5k runners took off. While only one of the streets was closed momentarily for traffic, there were sidewalks along the majority of the course and a bike lane which I felt pretty safe on (even while utilizing a stroller). The large right-turning loop didn’t really require much support, but the volunteers on site were invested and supported us well. The few who were helping with the aid station and traffic monitoring were all great.
Overall, the course was pretty flat, with a few rolling hills for good measure. The location was also great. While not the most scenic of courses in the world, it offered plenty of parking, quiet city streets, and an easy in and out that was perfect to get back home and get grilling in plenty of time for holiday lunch. Following the finish, there were a large amount of raffle prices available – from pies and cakes, to ORRC gear and gift. With the volume of prizes, there was actually about a 1 in 4 chance of taking something home (we didn’t).
It’s important to know that, while the race is timed with a clock, there are no official results tracked. But for a race that is free for ORRC members (and $26 for non-members), it is a nice low-key option. It gives Oregon runners near Portland even more incentive to sign up with ORRC.