Running for Flowers at the 2023 Newberg Camellia Run

In my quest for more plants, I gathered a few of my friends and we headed out to Newberg for the annual Camellia Run. OK, I didn’t just do this race for the camellia plant at the finish, but it was a definite plus! 😉  This year the run gathered around 500 runners and walkers. Fortunately, race day fell on a dry (albeit cloudy and cool) morning. We arrived with plenty of time to find parking easily and checked in quickly. With the cool day, it was great to be able to go inside the Chehalem Cultural Center to get warm and to use the real indoor bathrooms pre-race.

10K runners gather at the start line of Camellia Run 2023.

The 10K runners gathered at the start line first and I saw some of my running friends off just minutes before the 5K started. The 5K crowd was significantly larger than the 10K group. It felt quite chilly out, but there’s nothing like a little run to warm you up! The crowd was cheerful and chatty as we meandered through Newberg.

I ran the 10K last year, so the 5K was a somewhat new experience – although the routes did share some of the same streets. The best thing about the 5K was that it was less hilly than the 10K route. There was one noticeable hill on the 5K, but beyond that it was mostly flat. I had no complaints about that! The 5K stayed more in town, as well. Overall, it was a well-marked route without much traffic, and there were plenty of volunteers and police officers out keeping us safe along the way.

Camellias for the finishers!

When I crossed the finish line I was immediately handed a cool bottle of water. I really appreciated not having to wander around looking for water. That is usually the first thing I want after running. Properly hydrated, I watched people cross the finish line while I waited for my 10K friends to finish. After the proper cheers and congrats as my friends finished, we followed the pink camellia path to pick up our finisher’s camellia plant.

One of the camellias entered in the contest.

There were vendors and food carts in front of Chehalem Cultural Center to enjoy post-race. And inside, the camellia contest was beginning. Contestants brought in their various blooms for judging. The tables were covered with black fabric, making the colorful camellias stand out. Each camellia was set out in a tiny dish of water ready for judging. We didn’t stick around for the results, as our “traditional” post-race lunch was calling.

So, with a race under our belts and camellias in hand, we headed off with smiles and good memories from the 2023 CPRD Camellia Run.


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