Birthday races are the best. Back in 2012, my birthday gift from my wife was the Run for the Hills 8k in Corvallis. Never, ever have I received such a painful gift, that was, at the same time, so rewarding and fun. This year, the 12th annual race is Sunday, June 10th and again starts and ends at the Benton County Fairgrounds. The 2-mile distance is a non-competitive walk/run on the paved trail leading up to Bald Hill. I ran the 8k, which I found pretty darn difficult. While there were flat stretches, there were some pretty challenging hills leading to the Bald Hill Peak before returning back to the start. Expect about 2/3 of the course to be dirt trails and welcome the 2 aid stations along the way. Here’s some of my feedback from the event:
The first mile was a fast, flat paved trail leading to the base of Bald Hill. As paved trail gave way to dirt, and flatness to incline, I knew I had made an initial mistake of going out too fast and far smarter runners passed me over the next half mile until the first decline brought me back up to speed. A short flat stint around the northern portion of the park, and to mile 2, led to the real climb, a mile trek to the peak of Bald Hill. This portion was really a test on my legs and really had the burning (along with my lungs). When the trees parted near the peak, the clearing gave way to a magnificent view to the southwest. It was all I could do to keep chugging along, as the view begged to be taken in more than I was able. A quick re-hydration at the top led way to trails leading back down to the paved trail and to the finish. Overall, this was one heck of a race. I found that the shorter distance (8k) meant that there were no agonizingly long uphill or downhill stretches.
The extremely scenic 30k race has been around for a handful of years now and is one that I want to check out. While it initially follows the same path as the 8k, it ventures further into the back country and into Fitton Green Natural Area and along Mary’s River. I can only imagine the spectacular views that await the brave athletic souls. This distance will have 4 aid stations for water and sports drinks. The Fitton Green aid station, which runners will pass twice, will also have race snacks available.
The races benefit the Greenbelt Land Trust Trail Fund, which helps purchase raw materials and equipment used for trail construction and maintenance. Over $50,000 has been raised in the last ten years.
- 30k Trail Run – 8a (early start at 730a)
- 8k Trail Run – 9a
- 2mi – 905a
- 1/4 mile kids run – 10a
- $40 – 30k
- $30 – 8k
- $15 – 2 Miler