Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

From the east to the west


New Family Trail Running Series inspired by event in Vermont

The idea came to West Linn resident Richard Gross when his college-aged son, Sean, returned from a trip to Vermont one summer about five years ago.

While visiting the family cabin, Sean, had taken part in a weekly trail running series put on by the Catamount Outdoor Family Center in Williston, Vt. It seemed to him that just about everyone in the community participated, and he returned to West Linn raving to his father about how much fun he had.

“We have to do something like this,” Sean said.

And he would continue to say that to his father each summer, until this year when Richard Gross finally approached West Linn Recreation Director Ken Warner with the idea.

The parks and recreation department jumped right on board, and the West Linn Family Trail Running Series is officially set to kick off at Mary S. Young State Park on June 18 at 6 p.m. Two more runs are scheduled on July 16 and Aug. 20, as Gross and the recreation department look to measure the city’s response to such an event.

If it’s anything like what Sean Gross saw in Vermont, this could be just the beginning.

“We’re hoping the community gets involved, and the entire family shows up,” Richard Gross said.

Each event will feature two runs: a 5K through the park, which is available for participants of all ages or abilities, and a 1K kids run scheduled just before the main event.

The kids run will be free, while the 5K race is priced at $5. Aside from the run itself, the parks and recreation department will play recorded music to keep the energy up, and volunteers will be on hand to make sure everything moves smoothly.

“Something we’re trying to do as a parks and recreation department is promote a healthy lifestyle,” Warner said. “And we thought this was a great way to get everybody out at one event, to participate together.”

Gross is hoping to attract vendors to the event, though there likely won’t be any at the first race on June 18.

“We would like to see some vendors later in the summer,” Gross said. “That’s what we’re hoping.”

For now, the event is simply an opportunity to get active and take on a new challenge without the pressure of competition.

“It’s really not being presented as a competitive race,” Warner said. “The only thing you’re doing is competing with yourself.”

To register, visit westlinnoregon.gov/parksrec or call 503-557-4700, or sign up in person at the event.