I’ve never met anyone who did an Oregon Brewery Running Series 5k who didn’t have a great time. The positive atmosphere is contagious, and everyone gets to celebrate their “why” for running, whatever that might be for them.
It had been awhile since I’d been able to clear my schedule for one of these Fun Run 5ks, (they start at 10:00AM on Saturdays and I’m often done with my run by then) but on Saturday Aug 5th, I had an opportunity to meet up with some of my favorite people to run at Mazama Brewing at Orenco Station in Hillsboro.
I love that the Oregon Brewery Runs are untimed and the distances are “5k-ish.” They are casual and there is no pressure to be fast. The goal is to have fun. They are also a steal at under $40 to run and you always get a free beer and some piece of swag. Plus, it’s for a good cause, with funds going toward a non-profit. This race benefited Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Because I never want to give up anything and I always want to do all things, I did my typical early AM run with friends at Forest Park before heading over to Mazama. I had never been to this brewery and this little nook of Hillsboro is super cute and accessible. There were lots of people milling around, chatting, smiling, and in in good spirits. As always, check in was easy and they slapped a wrist band on my wrist and pointed me to the spot to decorate my bib about 5 minutes after I approached the table. All of the folks associated with the Oregon Brewery crew are truly some of the nicest, most welcoming people you’ll ever meet at a race.
After some warm-up stretches and silly photos, we took off by about 10:20-ish. Thankfully, volunteers with signs were at every turn, and if there hadn’t been, I would have for sure gotten lost. I’m super directionally challenged and there were several loop-de-loops, but I managed to stay on course the whole time. There were some sections on gravel that I didn’t love, but it really wasn’t too bad and I was also likely feeling a little weary after those miles on Forest Park.
After the run was over, I headed back to the check in area to turn in the tear-off part of my bib for the raffle. The Brewery Series gives out some really nice stuff, so it’s always worth it to stay. I also got to pick my swag item at this time, and they had a great selection different from the last time I went to one of their runs. There were a bunch of adorable fanny packs, cooling towels, pint glasses, shot glasses, and coffee mugs. I own pretty much too much of most of those things, but the shot glasses, which look like mini pint glasses, were too cute to resist, so that was my pick.
After grabbing our beers, my friends and I headed inside to chill and chat, and some ordered some delicious breakfast items. The raffle began just after 11:30 and one of my friends who always wins stuff won a “Life is Brewtiful” tank top. Score!!
If you’re looking for a really low key running or walking option that can be enjoyed with friends and loved ones, (or perhaps to meet new ones,) consider trying one of the Oregon Brewing Series 5ks. Based on my experiences, you won’t regret the decision. Check out the full schedule of all the breweries that will be visited here.