The 2017 Run, Love, Run 30k took place this past February in Newport – and I loved every mile. Shockingly, it took place on a day with actual blue skies, and though the race was challenging, it was a beautiful and memorable trail race. This race started and finished the at Rogue Brewery and within shouting distance of the Yaquina Bay Bridge – probably the perfect place to start and finish (beer…mmm) an exhausting race.
The race also featured a 15k in addition to the 30k, and me, along with another 15 runners, took off on the longer distance. While the whole race was quiet (the 15k only featured an additional 27 runners) this made for perfect solitude on the trails that followed. The race started through a few Newport neighborhoods and then along the Bay before heading up to the single track trails. Behold some of the beauty.
The trail snaked in and out of the woods into open spaces of very beautiful fields above the bay. I happened to not be wearing my headphones and I’m very glad I didn’t because throughout a good portion of my race I was accompanied by the sounds of the ocean waves, seagulls, and sea lions.
As beautiful as the course was, it was muddy. Although there wasn’t much climbing or elevation change (as would be expected in a 30k trail race), the mud, as well as the continual rolling hills, affected my pace. Going up and down on hills in the mud was definitely fun, but absolutely challenging. Wet and muddy courses are not my preferred conditions, but it’s part of the experience and I said to myself “just embrace it”. Luckily, the temperatures and overhead skies were perfect.
The course was actually so wet in parts, a small section actually went up to my knees. I briefly hesitated as I got this section, but heard a voice (later identified as the photographer) saying “Run! Just run through it”. So I did and came away with a great shot (see above)!
I also got to experience “Heart Breaker Hill” a nice little climb that was tough, but not off the chart. It was actually probably more “heartbreaking” to hit the road with three miles to go and see the Yaquina Bay Bridge in the distance, yet feel like it never got closer! That was so tough!
All in all, the day was great! The challenge of the trails, coupled with the beautiful weather and amazing views, made me love pretty much every minute. I would absolutely recommend this race and would be interested in running it again next year. Did I mention there was free beer and snacks at the finish for everyone? Score!