I like running races in uncommon race locations in the Portland Metro area, so I was excited to see the Red White and Blues 10k back in West Linn for another year. This point to point race has a net elevation loss of about 480ft and beautiful countryside in the first half with city running in the second half. The event offers a 10k, 15k, and half marathon, out of which I chose the 10k. Race parking is at Willamette Christian Church just a block from the start line in front of Rosemont Ridge Middle School in West Linn.
I got to the race a little later than I like, and the lot at WCC was already full. I got lucky though, and parking at the middle school was still available! Near the start line were porta potties (with a long line that moved quickly), packet pickup, water, coffee, and a gear check truck that would take the gear down to the finish line. It was overcast and cool, and the race was scheduled to start at 7:30am. The “Ainsley’s Angels” wheelchair and support team was sent off a few minutes early, and the nearly 900 runners started right after. We had been asked to line up by pace, and thanks to a wide road for the first half mile, I noticed no congestion.
The first 2.5 miles of the race take you through beautiful country roads on the west end of West Linn. After the initial uphill from the start, the roads were curvy and downhill. At the bottom of the hill we were greeted with a water station, and the split between the 10k to the left and the 15k/half to the right. The next 1.5 miles were a zig zag through calm neighborhoods and down to the Willamette River. A quiet path under the trees between the community gardens and the river weaved back towards the neighborhoods. Another quick zig zag and the finish line was in sight.
Right after the finish, I received my medal and a bottle of water. Having just completed the shortest of the available distances, crowds were still rather small and lines were short, and I was able to get my post-race beer and hot dog pretty quickly. A band was playing music, and there were plenty of picnic benches and tables for people to enjoy the post-race festivities. I picked up my race result printout slip from the results tent, visited with some vendors, and shopped the HTC merchandise. When I had cooled off sufficiently, I found the shuttle stop just one block away from the finish party and climbed on the bus for the ride back up the hill to the parking lots.
Overall a well organized and supported race with gorgeous scenery along the course. Full results can be found here.