My husband and I are always exploring area parks and trails when the weather is decent. Getting out for a casual walk is a great way for us to reconnect after a busy week and enjoy nature. When I heard about the 5K Trail Trekker (now in its 2nd year,) my curiosity was peaked. I had no idea about the Greenway Trail connecting east and west Tualatin (going under I-5.) I had to run this race to explore a new trail!
Saturday morning was quite cool, but happily, it was dry. I parked near the Tualatin Library and made my way behind the stores of Nyberg Rivers. I was surprised to see the number of vendor tents set up for this small race. It actually took me awhile to find the tent where I could pick up my race packet. But, once I found it, packet pickup was quick and easy. I made my way back to my car to drop off my very full swag bag and race shirt before checking out some of the vendors and getting warmed up.
At race time, the small crowd gathered at the head of the Greenway River Trail and the mix of runners and walkers headed out for a 5K trek. The start of the trail had a blue “river” made out of rock meandering through it. It was a cool effect, but I found I preferred to run on the cement rather than the “river.” Periodically there were animal footprints on the trail with information about their extinction. I sort of read some of them, but since I was running, it was hard to really pay attention and read. I noticed some short side trails that led out to overlook the river and there seemed to be signage at those overlooks, as well. Soon we were running under I-5 with the river alongside us. It was strange to think I had been driving over the top of this trail for a couple of years and had no idea it was there! Volunteers and/or signage were in place along the trail to ensure we stayed on course without issue.
The trail continued on ahead, but suddenly the race course veered off to the right. I was disappointed to find the course had taken us off of the trail and into the Nyberg Woods parking lot [editor’s note: having run this trail before, I know that the trail ends shortly after this spot. Luckily, there is a plan in place to connect to Browns Ferry Park in the near future]. We ran through the parking lot and alongside the busy SW Nyberg until we eventually turned back on to an older section of trail that I was familiar with. The course looped around near the old barn in Browns Ferry Park and we retraced our steps, going back up into Nyberg Woods parking lot and then back to the new trail to the finish/start. Cheerful volunteers at the finish line collected bib tags (for timing purposes) and handed out water.
After the race, many of the vendors had snacks for sampling along with some of the usual post-race food and water. There was a prize raffle on the agenda, but after I visited a few vendors the clouds had thickened and the wind had picked up. I was starting to get cold, so I left and missed out on the raffle. Bummer.
Overall, the Trail Trekker was well-organized and well-staffed. The organizers did a nice job. As for the race course, I was a bummed that we didn’t stay on the new trail longer, but since I don’t know how much farther the trail actually went, I assume they needed to move us off of the trail in order to get a full 5K distance in. If you are looking for a small 5K that is fairly flat and is walker and dog friendly, this is a nice local event that is close to shopping and restaurants for after the race.