I’ve seen the many races in the Oregon Brewery Series advertised for years, but for some reason it took me forever to finally make it to one of the events – the Portland Cider Run in Clackamas. I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was a little nervous that I might get lost. I know these events are low key, so I was unsure of how well-marked the course was and whether or not there would be volunteers. Silly me! They put these events on all the time. They know what they are doing!
When my friend and I arrived tents were being set up and the outdoor tables and chairs were being dried off after the rain. (Yea, we got there a little early.) We waited for the set up crew to get settled, then we got ourselves checked in. The race bibs were blank with markers provided to decorate them and put your name on the tear-off tag for the post-race raffle. I’m not much of an artist, so I skipped the bib decorating and went with the minimalist look.
After some pre-race group photos, the race began with little fanfare under cloudy skies. We headed out towards 82nd and eventually over I-205 where we got on to a paved trail that ran alongside the highway. Since this was an untimed run, my friend and I were running together and enjoying a more social run. It was nice to run along a pedestrian path, but being next to the noisy highway made conversation a little challenging at times.
Every turn and the one crosswalk we had to get across had a friendly volunteer making sure we stayed safe and on course; and encouraging us as we ran past. The route was an out and back, so at the halfway point we made our way back the way we came without a drop of rain the entire time! (Whew!)
After finishing we put our tear tags in the jar for the raffle, picked up our swag – I went with the running socks, and got our wooden nickels to exchange for a cider. I’m not a cider girl, but I was able to get a Diet Coke instead. While I didn’t sample the cider myself, everyone seemed to enjoy the many flavors of cider available at Portland Cider Company. The morning stayed dry, so we were able to hang out outside enjoying the live band, drinks, and even food if you wished to order some.
There was a raffle for some shirts and hats. I got lucky and won a Oregon Brewery Run t-shirt to wrap up the morning. Sweet!
For a smaller, low key event, this race was well-organized, well-staffed, had some decent swag to choose from, and overall was a fun 5K with a great post-race hangout setting. If you’ve been hesitant to check out a Brewery Run, don’t be! It was definitely worth running. I’m sure I’ll attend another the next time it’s close to home.