Race Preview: 2018 Britt Woods Firehouse Run (Jacksonville, OR)

Runners take the first turn at the start of the Britt Woods Firehouse Run.

Question: What do you get when you combine a challenging race, a hilly and scenic course on trails through the woods, an historic venue, and a novel format that has been going on for years?

Answer: The Britt Woods Firehouse Run!

This Southern Oregon classic takes place outside of Jacksonville, Oregon on July 14th. The hills, trails, and unique staggered start based on age and gender will thoroughly test your grit and determination, but the friendly volunteers and beautiful surroundings will leave you with great memories and have you coming back for more the next year.

The race covers two loops of the Britt Woods trails near the historic Britt Woods Firehouse, with runners taking off at carefully engineered intervals based on demographics, designed with the theoretical goal that everyone could potentially finish at the same time. This means that not only do you find yourself huffing and puffing along the dusty trails and up the demanding hills, but you also run in fear of being caught and passed by some fleeter, younger runners who started after you, and push yourself to the limits in pursuit of the runners who started ahead of you.

While trophies are presented to the top male and female finishers, results are not based on chip time, but purely on the order runners cross the finish line, which means with the staggered start anyone, regardless of age or gender, has a chance to win. With that in mind, ribbons are awarded to the first 20 finishers regardless of start time. When I ran this race a few years ago, I was very pleased to have hung on / moved up to claim a 7th place ribbon. Have I mentioned this course is hard? The winning pace that year was 9:15 per mile. That includes the delayed start time for the 23-year old champion, but he still had a lot of catching up to do, and no one else was able to break a 9:00 minute pace, even those who started in the first wave.

Adding to the incentive to stay ahead of pursuers hot on your heels and catch up with those rounding the switchback above you, this year prize money will be presented to the top three finishers: $100 for 1st, $50 for 2nd, and $25 for 3rd. So run like you stole something – and somebody stole something from you!

The hand-drawn course map adds to the charm of the Britt Woods Firehouse Run.

The course itself is another unique aspect of this fun event. The 10k consists of a 4.3-mile loop followed by a 1.9-mile loop, with some overlap between the two. And if the idea of chasing and being chased isn’t quite your style (or you like shorter races with fewer hills), you can run either single loop as an “exhibition” event (i.e., no awards or results). You can do either exhibition run as a warmup too, since they start one hour before the 10k. There is even a 100 Yard Fun Run for kids and adults between the short races and the 10k.

With discounted entries for families of three or more, restrooms on site, and water and post-race snacks available, the Britt Woods Firehouse Run really has something for everyone!

What: The Britt Woods Firehouse Run

When: Saturday, July 14th

Where: The Britt Woods, at the Upper Britt Trail parking lot (“From Downtown Jacksonville at Oregon and California Streets, go two blocks south on Oregon, right on Pine Street, left into east Britt log, or left on First Street, right on Fir Street up the hill to upper Britt parking lot. Or park behind the post office.”)

What time:

7:00a – 1.9 Mile (Short Loop) Exhibition Run
7:00a – 4.3 Mile (Long Loop) Exhibition Run
7:30a – 100 YD Fun Run for Kids/Adults
8:00a – 10K (Long + Short Loop) Main Event

Registration: On line HERE.

10k, 4.3 Mile, and 1.9 Mile – $20 for adults, $7 for runners 18 and under

100 YD Fun Run – $7

Families of three or more can register for $40.

Add $15 to each registration by July 1st to reserve an option tech shirt.

Online registration closes on July 11th at 11:59p.

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