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Participants in Oregon Road Runners Club-organized event will walk, run through nature in the Estacada area

COURTESY PHOTO: OREGON ROAD RUNNERS CLUB - Athletes in last year's Best Dam Run are all smiles as they journey along the course.

Those interesting in journeying through the forest and along the Clackamas River should mark their calendars for the Best Dam Run.

The race, in its 36th year, allows participants to walk or run from North Fork Dam on the Clackamas River to downtown Estacada. It's scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 21.

"We try to run in the pastoral parts of Northwest Oregon, rather than through downtowns," said Stephen Wright, president of the Oregon Road Runners Club. "There are so many scenic places, like this course."

The Best Dam Run takes participants along Faraday Road, a paved street that is closed to traffic. Runners and walkers meet at Estacada City Hall and are bused six miles to North Fork Lake for the start of the race.

Around 85% of participants are runners, and 15% are walkers.

Wright noted that there are a variety of sights along the course.

COURTESY PHOTO: OREGON ROAD RUNNERS CLUB - Runners strive to reach the finish line during the 2018 Best Dam Run.

"I've spotted deer, osprey, ducks and geese. (The area) is full of wildlife," he said.

Once they reach the finish line, attendees are invited to an awards ceremony and beer garden at Clackamas River Growlers.

"A lot of people stay and hang out at the beer garden," Wright said. "They compare race results, and talk to people they didn't know before."

The race is expected to draw around 500 participants and is limited to 750 entrants. Online registration is $45 and available through Sept. 20 at orrc.net. In-person registration is also available the day of the race and is $50.

Proceeds will benefit local boy scout and youth athletics groups.

Wright thanked the volunteers who help with the event, including race directors Peggy Hartwig and April Backwell.

"What fosters our unique culture is that we're all volunteers," he said. "This is the only race where the community provides all the volunteers."

He added that are welcome to participate in the race.

"The finish line doesn't close until the last walker is in," Wright said.

COURTESY PHOTO: OREGON ROAD RUNNERS CLUB - A family supports one of the participants in the Best Dam Run last year.


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