Race Preview: 2017 Silver Falls Trail Runs (Silverton)

Only the 50k has spots available

If you’ve ever been to Silver Fallls State Park, you would probably agree that it is one of the most beautiful places in Oregon. So a few years ago when Run Wild Adventures organized a half marathon with a course that included the “Trail of Ten Falls,” I signed up to be part of the experience. It was definitely one of the most beautiful courses I have ever run on, and due to the terrain, photo opportunities, and my lack of preparedness, my finish time still stands as a “personal worst time” in the half marathon distance. Since then, the secret is out about these beautiful and challenging Silver Falls Trail Runs. Registration typically opens on August 1st for the races on the first weekend of November (Nov 4-5, 2017), and they sell out within hours, or days at the longest. As I’m typing this (on October 4th), the 7 Miler, half marathon, and marathon are sold out, and only a few spots remain for the 50K race. If you want to participate in the 50k, don’t delay and register now!

The other way to still get involved in this race, is to sign up to volunteer. Just like most races, this event relies on the help from volunteers in order to be a good experience for the runners. Course marshals and aid station volunteers can enjoy the beautiful setting and cheer on the runners while getting a good feel for the experience, and maybe it will help you decide to participate as runner next year. Volunteers receive a free entry to any RWA event, free t-shirt, post race food and drink, and an entry into prize drawings.

The courses for all four distances are really beautiful. On Saturday, November 4th, runners take on the 50k ultra, the 26.2 mile marathon, and the 7 Mile run. On Sunday the 5th, there are two waves of half marathon runners. Quite impressively, none of the races double loop any of their course! The 7-miler is a straightforwards running of the “trail of ten falls”. The half marathon starts with a loop through the campground, then follows the 7 mile course for most of the way, but adds another loop towards the end. The marathon starts and ends the same as the half marathon, but at the North Falls aid station, marathoners add a 13 mile loop to the east and south, running pretty much the perimeter of the park boundaries. The 50k course adds another 5ish mile loop in the center of the perimeter loop to bring its distance up to the 31.01 miles that makes it a 50k.

The cost for these races is quite reasonable: The 7 miler cost $40, the half marathon is $55, the marathon $65, and the 50k is $75. All races are supported with aid stations every 3-5 miles. Due to park regulations, the marathon has a 17min/mile pace cutoff, and the 50k a 15 min/mile limit. Aid stations will be broken down at certain times of the day and runners will not be allowed to finish the course if they arrive at the aid station after that time. The half marathon and 7 miler do not have the same course limits, and slower runners and walkers are welcome to participate.

So if this sounds like something you want to take part in, set your alarm for 8am on August 1st, 2018, to sign up for the 2018 races. In the meantime, consider volunteering for the Silver Falls Trail Races, and have fun with your running!

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