Race Recap: 2016 River Run on the Fourth (Wenatchee)

Runners at the 2016 River Run on the Fourth gather at the start line.

Over the 4th of July holiday weekend, I was in Wenatchee, Washington visiting relatives so I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to participate in a new race. I signed up for the 2nd Annual River Run on the Fourth. I was looking forward to a run along the river and the scenic Apple Capital Loop Trail. The morning was somewhat overcast, but the temperature was still warm. About 300 runners gathered at Pybus Public Market for the 5K and 10K race. There were many festive 4th of July outfits mixed in with runners like me  – who didn’t plan that far ahead and just had the usual running clothes.

Participants gather at Pybus Public Market for River Run on the Fourth.

At start time we headed out on the paved trail which runs along the Columbia River. The start was a little congested, but once we got past the start banner we were able to spread out pretty quickly. We left the trail for a short time and ran along the road until we came to the pedestrian bridge that crossed over the Columbia. The climb up the bridge was steep and gassed me a little, but the views at the top were worth it. The course then took us to the opposite side of the river where the trail had plenty of rollers. All the up and down made me really glad I had been training on hills lately – even if it had just been for a couple of weeks. When we hit the 5K turn-around it seemed that very few of us kept going past it. Suddenly the number of runners on the trail had decreased dramatically. It turns out that over 70% of the runners were participating the in 5K!

At the 10K turn-around, the remaining racers begin to return to the start. The sun was trying to break out of the clouds making it quite warm. I was thankful for the clouds or it would have been much warmer. There were some brief conversations with other runners, but it seemed that most of the participants were wearing headphones, so there wasn’t a ton of chatter along the way. The climb on the way back over the pedestrian bridge was a doozy! I was thankful for a water stop by the bridge. On the way over the river the wind had really picked up. It felt great, but it was blowing pretty hard and I noticed that the clouds had gotten thicker and almost looked like rain could be coming in. This made the rest of the run much cooler. Near the finish I caught up with a gentleman and encouraged him to race me to the finish. Instead, a couple of cute little girls along the sidelines decided to join in and race me – with much enthusiasm.

View of the Columbia River from the start/finish area at River Run on the Fourth.

There were finisher medals, sunglasses, and snacks for the participants at the finish area. There was also a pancake feed available for a nominal fee at Pybus Market afterwards, but since I was visiting family I skipped out on the post-race festivities.

Overall, this Run Wenatchee race was well-organized, well-staffed with friendly volunteers, and went off without a hitch. I appreciated the traffic-free course and the great views along the river. I will definitely run this race again when I’m in Wenatchee for the 4th. I might even remember to wear red, white, and blue next time.

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