Independence Day (which happens to fall on the 4th of July this year!) 😉 presents a rich assortment of races, with several to choose from in large cities. But the best ones are the small town races that are part of the local celebrations. In pursuit of my goal of running a race in every county in Oregon, I took full advantage of the bounty of small-town Independence Day races, and had a blast (no pun intended) traveling to every corner of this diverse and varied state. Great options this year include races in Stanfield in northeast Oregon, and in Vale near the Idaho border.
Stanfield Fourth of July Fun Run
Stanfield lies just south of Hermiston, between Boardman and Pendleton off I-84. Their 4th of July event includes 5k and 1 Mile races, and all proceeds benefit the Stanfield and Hermiston cross-country teams (always another great aspect of local races!) While I haven’t run this race, I have raced in nearby Hermiston (Umatilla County!) and it’s a great area, with sweeping views of the plains and the Columbia River.
When: Wednesday, July 4th
Where: Bard Park in Stanfield (W. Roosevelt Ave. and Hwy. 395)
7:00a – Check in and race day registration
8:00a – 5K and 1 Mile start
Registration: $10 for each race plus $3.25 online fee ($15 day of race). Register online HERE through July 3rd at 8:00p.
Vale 4th of July FunRun
The Vale 4th of July race is one of my favorite memories in my running the counties adventure, and it was a great way to check off Malheur County! This one features a 10k, a 5k, and a Mile, each taking advantage of the low-traffic city streets and shade trees. The courses are mostly flat, with the 10k a double loop of the 5k course. As with the Stanfield event, Vale’s races benefit the high school cross-country team, and are also organized by the runners and coaches themselves.
Special features include chocolate milk at the finish, custom student-designed T-shirts, trophies for the top male and female in the 5k and 10k, gift certificates for the top three milers, a post-race raffle, and old-fashioned but highly accurate stop watch timing. If it’s hot, sprinklers will be set up on the course. After the race, be sure to hang around Wadleigh Park for the classic car show, the pancake and sausage breakfast, or a dip in the pool.
What: Vale 4th of July FunRun
When: Wednesday, July 4th
Where: Wadleigh Park, at the southeast edge of Vale
What time: All races start at 8:30a
Registration: 10k – $23, 5k – $20, Mile – $4 (T-shirt included with 10k and 5k registration). Day of race prices will be $25 for the 10k and 5k, $5 for the Mile. You can register online HERE.