Best Dam Run is a darn good experience
If you're interested in participating in your first 10K race, consider the Best Dam Run.
Stephen Wright, president of the Oregon Road Runners Club, said the event often draws beginners.
"It's a popular run in all fashions. It draws the fast and the slow and everyone in between," Wright said. "With the exception of one hill, it's all very flat, and the last mile is all downhill."
The race, in its 35th year, allows participants to walk or run from North Fork Dam on the Clackamas River to downtown Estacada. It is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 22, and attendees will be shuttled from Fourth Avenue to the starting point beginning at 8:30 a.m.
Wright said that the Best Dam Run is popular because of its scenic course, adding that it offers "everything your senses can take in."
"People really want the experience of pristine rivers and forest. There's interesting geology along the way, and you'll sometimes come across bald eagles or osprey," he said. "It's the beginning of fall foliage, so there are many colors."
Once participants have crossed the finish line, the event continues with a beer garden, raffle drawings and awards ceremony.
"People come for the run and stay for the community," Wright said.
He estimated that the race draws around 500 participants each year. Along with Oregonians, there are also attendees from California, Idaho and Washington. Among these athletes, 15 percent are walkers and 85 percent are runners.
Those interested in participating can register in-person the day of the event, or online at www.orrc.net/events/event-list/best-dam-run-10k-run-and-walk prior to Wednesday, Sept. 19. Cost is $45 for online registration and $50 for in-person registration. Proceeds will benefit local boy scouts and youth athletics groups.
Wright said the Best Dam Run is memorable for all involved.
"The runner who chooses our race really loves to experience life," he said. "Expect not only to put one foot in front of the other for 6.2 miles, but to also enjoy the parts of life you wouldn't otherwise have heard or smelled."