Eric Hirshberger and Kyle Bateman have something new in store for the runners who will gather July 28 for the Howl at the Moon 5K Adventure Run at Luscher Farm.
Just in case the Hills of Torture, the 250-foot water slide and the mud pits from last year's race weren't enough to lure participants back, the Parks & Recreation Department employees have designed three new obstacles — a tall climbing wall, a 45-degree ramp and monkey bars that seem to go on forever.
"I have to reel myself in sometimes, because I really do like those bigger obstacles," Hirshberger says with a chuckle. "We want to make it easy enough to be family friendly, but challenging enough for people who want to try something new."
Howl at the Moon is a chance for Hirshberger and Bateman to let their creativity run wild — almost literally. They've spent the past couple months conceptualizing ideas for new obstacles and deciding which obstacles from past years they'd like to bring back.
The adventure run will feature 18 obstacles spread over a 3.1-mile course that has competitors rambling up and down hills, scrambling under netting and plunging into mud pits. There's a trench crawl, a tire crawl and a plank walk, too.
"You can pick and choose which obstacles that you want to do," says Jamie Inglis, Parks & Rec's events coordinator. "We just want people to get out there and have fun."
Competitors must be at least 10 years old, but younger adventurers can still join in the fun. From 5-7 p.m., the Lake Oswego Fire Department will again be hosting a free Fire Fit Kids Course, a mini-version of the obstacle course with tubes to crawl through, hoses to carry and stuffed animals to rescue.
More than 400 people from Lake Oswego and surrounding communities are expected to participate. That includes Lake Oswego Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief David Morris and his family, who have run the race every year since it began in 2015.
"As long as you can walk five kilometers, you should be able to make it through the course," Morris says. "But there's no pressure to go through all the obstacles — you can always go around."