Lately I’ve come to really appreciate low key fun runs that offer exercise and camaraderie without too many bells and whistles. The races in the Oregon Brewery Running Series deliver just that. Last weekend, I participated in my first OBRS event, and was very excited since I had heard all about it at the season opener event last month. The run took place at Stickmen Brewery taphouse in Tualatin, which is tucked away in an industrial area, but serves delicious beers and brick oven pizzas.
Saturday morning was chilly, rainy, and windy, but that didn’t keep the participants from flocking to the site of this week’s run. Parking was no issue at all at Stickmen Tualatin, and check-in was a breeze. Since it’s a fun run with no timing chip, every person can design their own running bib (which serves as identification of race participants and provides the raffle ticket) at the bib design table equipped with lots of colorful sharpie markers.
Shortly before the 11am start of the race, we were asked to gather by the start/finish arch outside to participate in a group warmup and picture. Without much ado, we were counted down to the start and the bullhorn siren sent us off. The course for ORBS races is unmarked, but well staffed with volunteers. At every relevant corner, a cheerful volunteer with a red arrow sign was pointing us into the right direction. (Part of the pre-race briefing: If there’s no arrow, don’t turn. If there’s a blue arrow, ignore it!) We were running on wide sidewalks, first flat, then uphill for about half a mile, rolling downhill for the middle mile, and downhill to flat for the last mile. The wind and rain was quite gusty, especially while running into the wind on the last half mile before the finish. My Garmin recorded the course at exactly 3 miles, which matches the promised “5k-sish +/-” race distance.
After finishing, I turned in my raffle ticket in exchange for a beer token, and got to choose snacks (Laughing Planet cookies, KIND bars) and a Running Series swag item (choice between a Buff, pint glass, bottle opener, or coffee mug). My husband had already ordered a pizza and saved me a seat at the bar, and I used my beer token for a pint of the delicious Buona Matina coffee porter on nitro (think creamy cold brew coffee, but beer! Mmmmm!). We enjoyed the pizza and beer while watching the Olympics on the big screen. The raffle drawing awarded prizes from the vendors on site (Rarr Clothing, Oregon Wild, Picky Bars, and Stickmen). Overall I had a lot of fun and will certainly run some other races in the series!