As November dawns, Team Red Lizard’s Stumptown Cross Country Series moves to Pier Park in North Portland for Race #4. While the event serves as the USA Track & Field Oregon State Cross Country Championships, you do not have to be a USATF member to participate. In fact, the fun of the Stumptown Series comes from the good-natured local rivalries among various clubs and informal teams of four or more runners. There will be some impressive speedsters at the front of the pack, but runners of all paces will be there to enjoy the grass, mud, gravel, and hay bales.
As with Stumptown Races 2 and 3, the Pier Park event features separate races for women and men, this time with different distances: A 6k for women, followed by an 8k for men. I’m not sure if the different course lengths are based on old myths about the dangers of women running “excessive” distance, but at least it provides another opportunity for each gender to cheer on the other.
Both courses consist of multiple loops around the perimeter of the park on grass, dirt, and gravel paths. There are some substantial hills, and a few tight turns, though most of the course involves straight stretches and gentle curves. Some of the path sections are quite narrow, forcing you to run single file, but there are also wide open sections that cajole you into firing up the afterburners. So strategy comes into play when it comes to timing your passes and surges. These are courses that require patience and the ability to accelerate at the right spots. Don’t count on being able to run an even pace throughout the race. It’s a challenging course, but also a lot of fun!
What: Stumptown Cross Country Series Race #4
When: Saturday, November 4th
Where: Pier Park (N James St & Bruce Ave, Portland)
What time: Women’s 6K – 9:00a; Men’s 8K – 9:45a
Registration: $50 for all of the remaining races in the series 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.
You can register online HERE.