Race Preview: 2017 Stumptown Cross Country race #3 (Gabriel Park)

Axe not what your cross country team can do for you…

While the first two races of the Stumptown Cross Country Series are relatively flat, the same cannot be said of Race #3! The four-mile course at Gabriel Park in SW Portland boasts some serious hills. Not only that, but the running surface is the most varied of any race I’ve run, changing from short turf to dirt to shaggy grass to asphalt to gravel trail to wooden footbridge to mud to wood chips, often three of these within a couple strides. Add to that some tricky tight turns and lots of sideslope, and you can understand why this course is pictured next to the word challenging in the Dictionary of Cross Country Terms (or would be if such a book existed).

If you haven’t run this course before, at least you are probably guaranteed a PR, since the distance is a relatively uncommon 4 miles. Like Race #2 at Lents Park, the Gabriel Park event consists of separate races for men and women, so the entry fee gets you two races in one: one to run and one to watch! (Although it seems a little unfair that the women get to race first each time, and then relax and catch their breaths while the men wheeze and gasp their way along the course) 😉

Don’t let this velvet swath of lovingly groomed grass at the start fool you: This course is a tough one! (Win Goodbody photo)

What: Stumptown Cross Country, Race #3

When: Saturday, October 21st

Where: Gabriel Park, SW 45th Ave. and Vermont St., Portland

What time: Women – 9:00a; Men – 9:45a

Registration: $50 for the full series, or $15 for each individual race ($20 per race on race morning). You can register online HERE. (Team Red Lizard members can claim a discount on the series and individual races.)

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