When I’m stuck inside in the winter, thanks to weather conditions in which I don’t want to run, I like to warm up my thoughts by planning spring and summer activities, including races I will run. This year my team was once again selected in the Hood to Coast lottery, so while that is the “big race” for me, the other races around it will be part of my training plan to get ready. While I like variety and new races, I’m looking forward to repeating some that I loved.
Last year was my first time running Run With Paula’s Volcano Valley 10k in early May. This year, the race is slightly rebranded to be a Memorial Day weekend race, but the format remains the same: The 5k, 10k, and half marathon are run mostly within Willamette Mission State Park near Gervais just north of Salem. The 5k runs out-and-back, the 10k is one loop, and the half marathon a double loop. The post race party includes burgers and drinks at one of the picnic shelters in the park. Beautiful setting, great organization, I highly recommend it.
Fourth of July weekend also has many races to choose from, and I have doubled up on that weekend several times. HTC Race Series’ Red White and Blues race moved to West Linn last year, offering a beautiful course, mostly downhill, from Rosemont Ridge Middle school down to the river for a finish in the center of West Linn.
For a small town feel, try the Freedom 5k in Mollala, where race participant run the parade route, which will already be lined by spectators. Included in the registration is also admission to the rodeo in the early afternoon, so definitely plan to make a day of it.