As I have mentioned before, the Beaverton Sun Run is a local race with local ties. This is its 5th year, but some Run Oregon bloggers have experienced the race before and we thought it would be fun to ask some them about their memories of this storied race.
Nikki: I’ll always have a special place in my heart for the Beaverton Sun Run of 2016 because it was the first race I ever placed first in my age group and third among women. I never used to be a runner who cared about numbers like this, but in the last couple of years, I’ve gotten stronger and healthier and I’ve suddenly found myself to be more competitive not only with myself but with other runners. I was always at the back of the pack, and the front was someplace I never thought I’d see.
For many years, I did all the big races, as a lot of runners do. But as the fees increased as well as the crowds, I found myself preferring some of the smaller races where I didn’t feel like I was just a race bib number. The Beaverton Sun Run was one that truly fit the bill for a small, friendly race, and I found it was like the comfort of an old friend that you fall right in line with no matter how much time has passed between visits.
This race was capped at 300 participants and was located very close to my house. There was none of the usual downtown traffic and having to walk several miles to the start through all the crowds. The cost of the race was very affordable, and it included a shirt and a medal, not to mention a beer and pork sliders afterward. The volunteers and race officials were all very friendly and helpful and everything was very well-organized. The course was simple and straightforward. Since there wasn’t a sea of people in front of me, I could see my progress the whole time. There were never more than nine people in front of me, and I pushed myself to keep that from changing. The two girls in front of me were fast, and I was okay with them beating me, but I wasn’t letting anyone else pass me. I never knew I was “that” kind of runner before this day. At the end of the race, I wanted to stick around and talk to people and enjoy my beer. I didn’t feel rushed to leave, but when I did, it was easy to get out. It felt like a big group run, but with lots of perks.
Joe: I ran the Beaverton Sun Run in the “early years” (i.e., 2014), and it left me with a lot of the kind of low-key, pleasant memories you associate with a well-organized, small, local event. I remember the welcoming atmosphere at Griffith Park (the original start/finish area), with the friendly and helpful volunteers, and the shaded grassy area where the registration and sponsor tents were set up. The road circling the park provided an ideal, traffic-free place to warm up. A fellow runner showed off his multiple tattoos of a small runner icon, one for each marathon he had run. The pre-race instructions, announcements, and course descriptions were detailed and clear.
The course itself was flat and fast, beginning with a loop around the park, and then a turn onto 5th St., where we crossed some train tracks (carefully noted in the pre-race debriefing). We had a long straight shot down 5th before a left turn and a turnaround in front of another park at the far end of the out-and-back course. With very few turns, runners were able to really stretch out and push the pace, leading to some fast times. I do remember being glad I was only running the 5k, and feeling a little sorry for the 10k runners, who had to do the out-and-back twice.
I was lucky enough to win the 5k, and very excited to be awarded one of the most unique prizes I have ever received: a very nice pair of Leupold binoculars! Leupold is a local Beaverton company, and they were a generous sponsor of the race. Gift cards and compression sleeves were also included. In addition to the great awards, the event offered all finishers some delicious post-race refreshments, and a hockey puck. “What, a hockey puck?!” you say. Yes, the Beaverton Rotary, who put on the race, created pucks with their logo on them, along with their 2014 slogan, “Make Your Presence Felt!”
All of these small details added up to create lasting memories of a unique event, exactly what you hope to find in a home-grown local race. (You can read my recap of the 2014 Beaverton Sun Run HERE).
Teresa: I’m not quite sure where the name originated, but I did notice you run pass a street named Sunshine Court, which I think is pretty fun. I can’t chat about Sun Runs of yesteryear, since I’ve only run the course and not as a bandit. Curious about this Beaverton fun run, I ran the 10k out and back and loved it. I grew up in Beaverton, and have run a whole lot of miles in my hometown, but this is a fun new find for me. I can’t believe I didn’t discover this gem sooner. I’ve run other sections of Fanno Creek Trail, but never this stretch and I’m pretty excited with the discovery. I’m also hoping to sweet talk my family into letting me run the race officially on July 23rd. The course is super flat and has plenty to look at along the way, including birds and wildlife, a babbling creek, blooming flowers, all sorts of thick foliage and trees. It’s peaceful with a few stretches of full sun, but mostly shaded, keeping it cooler for a summertime run. Best of all, the course is paved, so I can soak in nature without rolling an ankle on a tree root. If the course is any indication of the quality of this run, I will love it.