At the end of a hot week, and despite a mild ankle injury, I was very excited to travel to the small town of Aurora (about 25 minutes south of Portland) to take part in the Aurora Colony Days 5k race on July 11. This small community of less than 1,000 residents is a quaint little town famous for its antique stores and wineries. Aurora Colony days celebrates its origins with concert, market, parade, car show, and a 5k race.
Parking was easy within a block of the start line in front of the Aurora Colony Museum. With a chance of drizzle in the forecast, packet pickup and day-of-race signup was set up under some popup tents next to the start/finish arch. As we approached the 7:30am start time, runners and walkers gathered by the arch, and at the sound of the airhorn we were off. Since it was a small group of runners (59 people started the race), crowding on the course was not an issue at all. The course was well marked with chalk, and staffed by volunteers at critical turns. We ran through neighborhoods, past the city park where the Colony Days festival was setting up for the day, down and up some hills, and I noticed that several residents had started setting out chairs and blankets to reserve their spot for the parade later in the day. After about two miles we passed within a block of the finish, but ran a second shorter lap to bring the distance to 3.1 miles.
After crossing the finish line, I received a bottle of water, and volunteers were walking around with bowls of bananas and oranges. At that point it started to sprinkle, which felt fantastic! I looked up my results at the result kiosk (the full list is available here), and watched the kids get ready for their kids 1k at 8:30am. White Rabbit Bakery offered free coffee to race participants at their store down the street, so I stopped by there on my way home.
This was a very lovely small town race! I wish I had had the time to stay (or come back) for the other Aurora Colony Days activities, and I’ll certainly mark my calendar for next year.