Forget February: Summer Races We Love (Annette and Nikki’s picks)

Last year's groovy High Street Hustle logo.

Last year’s groovy High Street Hustle logo.

I don’t know about you, but I am over winter! Done with the cold, snow, ice, rain, wind . . .  and eagerly looking forward to running in the warm sunshine again. So, if you – like me – need to get your mind off of the lousy weather, start planning your summer race calendar. Here are a few that we think are “can’t miss” summer runs.

Annette’s Pick
High Street Hustle 5K or 8K on August 12.  This summer race starts and finishes in front of the state capitol building in Salem. High Street is closed to traffic on this morning, so racers have full use of the entire road. 70’s costumes are encouraged for this high energy event that raises funds for research to prevent heart disease. I participated in this race for the first time last year and thoroughly enjoyed it! (See my recap here.) Volunteers and people living along the race course came out in full force with cowbells in hand. It was truly a community event that was well-organized and supported. This is a “can’t miss” summer race.

Nikki’s Picks

I participated in the Country Girl Half Marathon/10k/5k on September 25th. What was nice about this race is that it was an all women’s race and the community of women is especially inspiring. Whatever women deal with “in real life,” (catty gossip, back-biting at the office, mama drama, etc) all is forgotten out on the road where we are all just a bunch of runners dealing with the exact same struggles. I wore a shirt that day that said “Run Mom Strong” and I had a few ladies along the course cheering for me, the “mom” out there. All the ladies out there made me want to run faster. Some were really struggling, some were flying by, but all were doing it and encouraging all the others around them.

The course, which starts and finishes at the Kliever Memorial Armory, runs along the Columbia River, which is a really beautiful distraction. One of my other friends had a much more painful experience when she discovered her no-show socks weren’t going to stay up in her shoes and opted to take them off before the race. Her feet were a bloody mess by the end and my guess is she will always remember that race for different reasons. The course is pretty flat, so it could be a PR race for you. I had a goal to run this in under two hours and I finished in 1:55.
This particular race has a couple other options if you don’t want to run the half marathon distance. You could also do the 5k or the 10k. No matter the distance, you will get a cute t-shirt, a finisher’s necklace, and wine, beer, or mimosas at the finish line. Also at the finish line is live country music.

The website has not been updated for the 2017 race yet, but when it does, I would recommend you try this one.

Beaverton Rotary International’s Annual Sun Run (5k/10k) on July 24th met all of my basic requirements for a summer race. It was convenient (located at Adapt Training in Beaverton,) it was pretty cheap ($30 for the 10k distance, $25 for the 5k with a price increase of $5 after Feb 27th) and a t-shirt, food, (pork sliders from Y Not Have Fun) and beer (provided by Uptown Market) were all included in the cost. I don’t usually feel like drinking beer at 10 in the morning, but it’s worth it after a race, especially if there is no line, which there wasn’t because this race is limited to 300 participants. It’s also chip-timed and everyone gets a finisher’s medal. There is a Kid’s Dash as well, which is free. The course itself is pretty limited considering it’s right in Beaverton, but it’s flat and fast. It was very well organized and all of the volunteers were really friendly. They even offer to email you any pictures after the race, which is really nice since they really don’t have to, especially for free. This year the race will be on July 23 and registration opened on Jan 24th.

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