Team Red Lizard’s Stumptown Cross series is hugely popular among Portland area harriers for its affordability, variety of courses, excellent organization, and no-frills spirit of camaraderie and team spirit. This annual home-grown cross-country series kicks off with one of my favorite courses, a tour of the grassy infield at Portland Meadows horse track in north Portland.
The 5k course is mostly flat and takes runners on two-and-a-half loops of mostly grass and hard-packed sand. In classic cross-country style, the starting line makes up a very wide swath of grass, and at the sound of the horn a thundering herd of runners barrels across the grass, whooping and hollering, before the course narrows at the first turn at the far end of the race track’s infield.
While one of the faster and more horizontal courses of the Stumptown series, the Portland Meadows race is hardly dull, with hay bales to hurdle, a raised platform to run across, and a series of four or five (its all a blur!) “whoop-de-dos”, or small hillocks, to navigate that were especially created for the cross-country course. Most of the rest of the surface is relatively firm, flat grass, and the wide open nature of the course allows for considerable speed. It’s a great combination of technical skill and flat out acceleration, that makes this race one of the most fun events around.
What: Stumptown Cross Country race #1
When: Saturday, September 30th
Where: Portland Meadows race track (1001 N Schmeer Rd, Portland, OR 97217)
What time: 8:00a
Registration: $50 for the entire series (5 races) or $15 for individual races. (Day of race: $20)
Current Team Red Lizard members can take advantage of a discount on entry fees for the series and individual races, another incentive to join the local running club with the coolest uniforms and logo!
You can register online HERE.