Over several decades of running and racing I have come to realize that my niche is short races on firm, even surfaces, like 5Ks on the roads or a 1500 on the track. In fact, I was 7 miles into a trail half marathon a couple years ago when I began to bonk* and the idea of a custom license plate popped into my head: “5K DUDE”. I retired from races longer than 10k that day and went to work ordering that plate that evening.
*The fact that I had run a road 5k earlier that morning may have had something to do with it (both the bonking, and the license plate epiphany). 😉
So it would take a pretty amazing and scenic course to lure me out of retirement and into the woods for another trail half. The Spring Fling Trail Run at Alsea Falls on March 18th is one such race. The description and the photos drew me in. Somehow the appeal of running through the tranquil forest in an area I haven’t visited before offset my aversion to the fatigue and hunger inherent in any race that takes longer than an hour.
Set in the Alsea Falls Recreation Site halfway between Corvallis and Eugene between I-5 and the coast, the half marathon, 10k, and 5k traverse trails and gravel roads through the fern-rich forest. Expect dappled sunlight or mud-inducing rain, but either way, the scenery will knock your socks off (hopefully not literally!) Watch out for tree roots, and don’t be shy about walking on some of the more gnarly sections of the trail (but note that there is a 2.5-hour cutoff time for the half marathon). Water and sports drinks will be provided at the four aid stations along the half marathon course, as well as at the two aid stations for the 10k and the one for the 5k. Food and gels will also be available for half marathon participants.
And don’t worry about going elbow to elbow with huge throngs of runners, as the event is limited to 250 entrants. The top two men and women in the half marathon will receive a free entry to the Mary’s Peak 50k/25k, and all other award winners will receive 50% off an entry to any one future 2017 Oregon Trail Runs event.
Upon arriving, follow the instructions from the parking volunteers and allow 10-15 minutes to walk to the start at the day use area. A bag check will be available at the start. Upon finishing, stick around for the post-race BBQ and drinks.
What: Spring Fling Trail Runs
When: Saturday, March 18th, 2017
Where: Alsea Falls Recreation Site
What time: 9:30a for the half marathon, 9:40a for the 10k, and 9:45a for the 5k. Packet pickup and day of race registration opens at 7:30a.
Registration: You can register online HERE. $50 for the half marathon, $40 for the 10k, and $35 for the 5k. Enter code “junior” to save 50% for runners 18 and under.