Race Preview: 2016 Champions Run for Heroes

In light of recent events, it is refreshing to have an opportunity to show support for those who serve the public in law enforcement. The Champions Run for Heroes on August 20th gives 20% of their proceeds to the McMinnville Police and Fire Department as well as the Yamhill County Sheriffs Office. Featuring a relatively flat 5K and a kids half mile run within the park, you can register online for $30 or on event day for an additional $5. The kids run and supervised play while their parents run can be had for $5. One of the unique perks about this event is they created what they call the 'Champions Challenge'. Any male that beats me (Brian Bernier) across the line, or female that comes within 2 minutes, gets their registration fee refunded to them. While it is a fun race, I have to admit it is a bit stressful racing with that kind of target on me!

The race begins and ends at Joe Dancer Park, conveniently located about a half mile from highway 18, the recommended route if you are coming from out of town. The course loops around a parking lot and climbs a small hill into a rural/industrial area on the east side of town. Traffic will be minimal and views of the hills great as it travels out, only making about 5 turns plus the turnaround at the half way. It definitely lends itself to a fast finish as the gradual downhill eases the work of maintaining speed.

Check in begins at 7 with the gun going off an hour later. There is also a pre race bib pick up option at the See Ya Later Foundations main office on Baker Street in McMinnville. Chip timing is provided by the capable team at Huber timing and there will be an aid station at about the mile mark. Entry fees cover a shirt, swag bag, and post event food. There will be prizes for the top 3 finishers of each gender and the overall male and female masters winners.

While McMinnville may seem a bit out of the way for some people, the small town race vibe is something that can’t be replicated. August 20th will mark the second year of this event and I’m sure it will be a lot of fun. The course is smooth and fast while the adjacent playground and supervised play option make this one you can bring the whole family to.


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