On March 2nd, 2019 the Champoeg Half Marathon, 30K and 10K races were held at Champoeg State Park in St. Paul, OR. The Oregon Road Runners Club continues to put on exceptional races that feel like a party with close friends that has a little run at the beginning. With a well marked course, ample volunteers, professional photographers, and a delicious post-race spread, I continue to prefer ORRC events to most.
The race morning started like most others, my group of friends (we have come to refer to ourselves at “The Zombie Runners” since we get up and run before the sun is out) load into the car to make the short trek from metro Portland to the rural outskirts of our green city. As we wind off the highway, time slows down, the road becomes narrower and concrete is replaced by green, everywhere. Champoeg State Park is located about 20 miles south of Portland Oregon along the Willamette River. This is the location where, in 1843, Oregon’s first provisional government was formed. There is so much history mixed in with the natural beauty of this place, that the paved path along the river provides the best backdrop to experience this local gem.
As we made it to the race, we immediately realized we were lucky. The fickle Oregon spring weather cooperated with us. The race was run on a perfectly sunny, but crisp morning. The course for the 10K is an out and back along the river path. The half marathon is a similar course where runners complete two out and backs along the same paved trial. The 30K was the 10K course, run three times. The flat course was fast and the out-and-back course allowed all runners to see, and be inspired by, the quick feet in the front of the pack and the strong men and women in the back. There were cheers and high-fives before, during, and after this marvelous event.
As with all ORRC races I have run, the race itself went off without a hitch, the sense of community was overwhelming, and the post-race snacks were on point!