Race Preview: The 3rd Annual Oregon Trail Game 5K & 8K (SPECIAL DISCOUNT CODE FOR RUN OREGON READERS!)

Show of hands who has never played the iconic computer game Oregon Trail as a youngster?! Doesn’t matter where in the United States you are from, most people have either heard of or played the game, at least once in their lives. My first experience was in first grade on an Apple II. As a player, if you didn’t die of dysentery or have an oxen drown while fording the Snake River, you had a chance of staking a claim once your arrived in Oregon. Oregon City, is known as the first city in Oregon and the end of the Oregon Trail. No other town in the country can boast a race that starts and finishes at the end of the Oregon Trail! This year, the 3rd annual Oregon Trail Game 5K is coming on Sunday, August 6th, and now have added an 8K for even more game play.Based on the classic 1980’s computer game, The Oregon Trail® Game 5K and 8K takes runners on a cross-country adventure from Missouri to Oregon, over mountains and across rivers, and to their final destination – Oregon City! Runners will have to make decisions along the course such as whether to ford a river, go hunting, and more. Can you make it to Oregon or will you die of dysentery? Each decision you make along the trail will determine your ultimate fate. Runners receive a timed score as well as a game score.

The course starts and ends on Main street in downtown OC, and past the historic Municipal Elevator (one of only 4 in the world!), up 223 steps by Singer Falls, pas the McLoughlin house and by many more historical sites featuring views of the Willamette Falls and Willamette River.

Both Joe and Matt have run this event before and here are some words from their recaps:

The amount of planning and attention to detail that went into this event is amazing! Despite two small glitches…this race was a total blast and I will definitely be back next year, determined to make it all the way to the Willamette Valley with all my oxen intact.


  • Run Oregon readers get 10% off with code: runoregon17

  •  5K– (between now and July 31st) is $35. 8K-(between now and July 31st) is $40. Price increases at midnight on the 31st.
  • Children 12 years and under can register at a special rate of $15 and enter the kids’ category, where awards will be given for the top three runners.
  • *Online registration ends at 8:00 pm on Saturday, August 5th but day of race registration is available from the race site Sunday morning at 8:00 am.

Day of Race: Registration is available day of race at 8:00 am. Day of packet pick up is TBD. The race starts 9:00 (5K) and 9:15 (8K) so you have plenty of time to grab a parking spot (they will be limited, so carpool or take mass-transit) and a coffee at nearby Grano Bakery or Coffee Rush. Post race, have brunch at local favorite Yvonnes or visit Spicer Brothers Produce or Oregon City Brewing for a cold one. Help revitalize Oregon City by patronizing one of the aforementioned businesses or consider making a donation here.

What you need to know: This course is family friendly, but features some off-road trails that may not be ideal for strollers. Kids under age 3 are free!

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