Have you tried one of the Oregon Brewery Running Series races yet? If not, why not? It’s a favorite in Portland, as you get a fun 5k(ish) run, great swag, and beer at the end, not to mention awesome people who don’t take things too seriously and know how to enjoy themselves all around you.
I had the privilege of attending not only the last Oregon Brewery Run of the year, but it was also at Basecamp Brewing and they were celebrating their 6th anniversary, so it was extra special. My husband and I have enjoyed making these runs into “date dates” away from our kids and doing something both healthy (run) and not so healthy but a blast (beer.) This is a great way for us to connect and have fun as adults that aren’t just mommy and daddy.
What’s also nice about these events is we CAN bring our kids, and many people do. We choose not to but they would be in good company. There was one runner mom who chased after her daughter on her bike and there were several strollers and kids running side by side with their parents. Despite being at a brewery, it’s very family-friendly.
The Basecamp Brewery run was on November 3rd, and this series of races run rain or shine, so it was a gamble signing up for something at such an unpredictable time of year. However, we really lucked out with the weather for this one, as it was dry and a bit overcast. It wasn’t even very cold, so it was actually ideal temps for running. We got there a few minutes late due to a train in SE Portland that had clogged traffic a bit, but we found a parking spot right away and were greeted by the friendly volunteers and a lot of runners.
The line to check in was long but quick and someone was coming around with the wristbands before we got to the front. We decorated our bibs and I even had time to stand in line for the bathroom (side note.. why is the line for the men’s room always SO much shorter than for the women’s? Don’t they wash their hands?) After the brief announcements, we were lead thru the pre-race stretches, and off we went!!
These races are short and casual and definitely not meant to be your best PR race, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that they are still super organized with well-marked routes. Runners are responsible for obeying traffic laws and watching for cars at crossings since the roads aren’t closed, but following the super enthusiastic volunteer’s signs make it nearly impossible to get lost. And it would be hard to have a bad time as far as I can tell, because everyone is just so happy at these things. We traveled through some great neighborhoods with some cool houses and it was just kind of fun to sightsee in a neighborhood we probably normally wouldn’t be in.
The race was over before we knew it (which is great since I had ran a 10 miler that morning with my friend,) and it was finally time for the swag line! We dropped our raffle tickets in the glass jar and had a few items to choose from, plus some KIND bars, loaves of bread, and various other treats. We also had our treasured beer tokens and Basecamp has an awesome S’Mores Stout on tap that was calling my name. The beer line was really long, as this was a packed race, but we enjoyed our time hanging out and they even brought a cake out to celebrate Basecamp’s Birthday. They also had some sales on carry-out beer, and the free drink was worth the wait.
We took our beers out to the tent outside which was toasty warm and not overly claustrophobic. They were doing some fun games like making people stick their hands in ice buckets for 30 seconds and then race to be the first to untie a knot with frozen hands. Then they raffled off some awesome prizes, including two season passes for the entire 2019 Brewery Series. Alas, I won nothing, but I did get another beer and more quality time with my husband.
We are already planning our race tour for next year. Stay tuned for the 2019 schedule which will be released on December 1st! A large handful have already been announced and there are several in the works currently.