This race is a staple that every Oregon runner should do at least once. It’s an established event with a long history, is organized, has a large field of runners at all ability levels, and might be one of your only opportunities to see someone blast past you wearing lederhosen. The course is rolling, with some climbs, but then you get the opportunity to make up speed on the downhills. The optional tech shirt is usually of decent quality and won’t break the bank if you add it to your registration. The start can be crowded as you weave through the streets of Mt. Angel after starting out in a park, but then you’re out in the countryside around the Abbey (which is worth a visit for architecture buffs, as the library was designed by Alvar Aalto) and the crowd thins out a little. I noticed two porta-potties on the course, but I think everyone was in such a rush to finish and get into Oktoberfest that they didn’t stop to use them as I didn’t see lines. My only quibbles were that the course monitors got ignored by the drivers in a few spots, and things got a little nerve-wracking as disrespectful hillbillies sped by. Oh, and some potholes, but I can trip on thin air so maybe that’s just my problem. The age group awards are generous (new achievable goal! Oktoberfest AG Ribbon!) I found parking along the main road in front of the Fest Halle, and there was plenty of room for everyone, but I did have a little bit of a walk to the start–if you get their super early you can find a spot in town near the start. Most importantly, we got FREE BEER and entry to the Oktoberfest, which was AWESOME. Even my German-American “I hate running” husband enjoyed himself!
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