Road miles fill a unique niche when it comes to races. Running is a sport dominated in recent years by half and full marathons, trail running, relays, and adventure races like the Warrior Dash, with the occasional 10k and 5k mixed in. Races shorter than 5ks are usually restricted to the track, making road races for “middle distance” runners a special treat.
That’s why I was so excited when the Growl to Garden Road Mile debuted in Eugene last summer. It was a chance for runners young and old to hold nothing back and push their limits in an extended sprint down 5th Avenue in Track Town USA. Happily, the race is back for a second year (and hopefully many more). Repeating the mid-August afternoon start time from last year, the horn sounds at 4:00pm, Saturday August 18th.
The race starts on Pearl Street between 3rd and 4th Avenues, heads downhill for a couple blocks, then turns right onto 5th Avenue for a flat and uninterrupted dash to the finish near Adams Street. The Growl to Garden name comes from the Tap & Growler pub near the start and Gray’s Garden Center near the finish. With the downhill start and only one turn, the course is a fast one. (I ran my faster mile there last year, by about 10 seconds, and by all indications the course was accurate.)
After the race, make sure to hang around for the Beer Festival and awards celebration at Gray’s Garden Center. This was one of the most memorable and fun post-race gatherings of 2017, a pleasant location with good music, a spirited announcer, nice awards and abundant raffle prizes, and an overall friendly vibe.
A chance to run a rare mile on the roads, a fast course, and a fun post-race atmosphere. What more could you ask for on a warm summer afternoon?
When: Saturday, August 18th, 2018
Where: 5th Avenue, Eugene
What time: 4:00p
Registration: $20 (Optional T-shirt $10). Register online HERE. Day of race registration and packet pickup will be available at Tap & Growler (207 East 5th Avenue, #115
Eugene, Oregon 97401) from 11:30a until 3:00p