Reno River Festival and the Biggest Little 5k Birthday Run

If you plan on attending any spring event in Downtown Reno this year, I would recommend this one…

The Reno River Festival will be presented on May 9-10, 2015 at downtown Reno’s Truckee River Whitewater Park and presents a weekend of “world-class whitewater competitions, live entertainment, food from around the region, and an outdoor expo featuring some of the industry’s top retailers”.  The event has typically brought more than 30,000 people to the area each year and features many other weekend events to complement the main whitewater kayaking competition including a wide array of music, food, yoga, fly fishing clinics, and of course… running.

The premier running event of the weekend is the Biggest Little 5k Birthday Run.  In honor of the City of Reno’s 147th birthday, this is the 2nd Annual event to help showcase Reno’s Riverwalk District.  The event also helps raise funds for the Riverwalk District’s Beautification Program.

“Every dollar raised from the 5K Run will go towards the Riverwalk District’ Beautification Program to help establish a safer, cleaner, more colorful and lively downtown area including better signage, landscaping and public art.”

Photo Credit: The Riverwalk District http://bit.ly/1y6O2ce
2014 Biggest Little 5k Birthday Run Start at the Arch
Photo Credit:
The Riverwalk District
http://bit.ly/1y6O2ce

The 5k route starts at the Reno Arch, similar to the Downtown River Run, and follows a similar course down the Truckee River Path towards Idlewild Park.  It is an out-and-back course that turns around at Idlewild Park and comes back towards the finish line in front of Wingfield Park and Sierra Tap House, close to where the main festivities for the Whitewater Competition are located.

2014 Biggest Little 5k Birthday Run Photo Credit: Riverwalk District http://bit.ly/1y6O2ce
2014 Biggest Little 5k Birthday Run
Photo Credit:
Riverwalk District
http://bit.ly/1y6O2ce

The event starts at 9am on Saturday, May 9th and is a 5k (3.1 miles!).  It isn’t one of those early races, so there shouldn’t be any excuse not to participate in this one.  The registration fee is $30 + a $2.85 processing fee, but every dollar raised is going towards making the Riverwalk District a more beautiful place for locals and visitors, so you will be contributing to that cause.

I ran the inaugural Biggest Little 5k Birthday Run last year and it just so happened to fall on MY birthday, so it was definitely exciting (like everyone came to celebrate my birthday with me… but not really).  Sierra Tap House was also positioned at the finish line last year with some delicious beer to get the celebration started, so kudos to them for helping make it a blast.

It was also one of the few races I came in as an overall top finisher, so I was pretty stoked to say the least!

See... That's me on the far right! Photo Credit: Riverwalk District http://bit.ly/1y6O2ce
See… That’s me on the far right!
Photo Credit:
Riverwalk District
http://bit.ly/1y6O2ce

Hopefully I will see everyone at the race this year!

Reno 5000 Downtown River Run

Photo Credit: Dolan Auto Group http://bit.ly/1CxkzYR
Photo Credit:
Dolan Auto Group
http://bit.ly/1CxkzYR

I hope you enjoyed the 3rd Annual Leprechaun Chase presented by Race178, if you happened to have ran it on March 15th.  I know I had a blast and it was well worth it to get up on a Sunday to get in a nice 5k run with a bunch of other peeps for a St. Patty’s day themed run.

In the spirit of amazing Spring races in Reno, I thought I would highlight another upcoming run on April 12th in downtown Reno by giving some kudos to the 2015 RENO 5000 Downtown River Run sponsored by the Dolan Auto Group.  This is another exceptional race in the Reno area that features a course starting at the Reno arch with an out-and-back along the Reno Truckee River Path (which I have highlighted in one of my previous posts).

The race is actually Race #1 in the RENO 5000 2015 Running Series and features a Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k, 5k, and JR 1 Mile.  Each event starts at the Reno arch with a turnaround that varies depending on the distance, but are all featured along the downtown stretch of Virginia street that showcases the “Biggest Little City”.  All participants receive finisher awards, gender specific race shirts, food, drinks and other festivities at the race expo.

I personally have only run the half marathon for this race series, but think the best part is the scenery you’re exposed to and the elevation change.  The race features some of the coolest scenery of downtown Reno as well as some of the best parts of the Truckee River, while providing a very fast course that has relatively little elevation change.  The out-and-back is pretty awesome too as you get an idea of where you’re at when you’re on your way back to the Reno arch and can put in that extra kick towards the finish.

It may be a little too late to sign up for the Marathon or Half Marathon, unless you’re one of those people always in top running form, but if you’d like to jump in for the 10k or 5k race, there is definitely still time to register.  For those that want to try out there first marathon or are looking to take it to the next level, the Downtown River Run marathon is a great fast course for first marathoners and is a Boston Qualifier!  There are also some sweet prizes for the overall male and female winners… “The male and female winners of the marathon will feel joy, like the ancient Greek courier “Philippides” once did, by the possibility of winning a $1,000 prize purse, leaf crowns and their portraits drawn and framed.”  You have to have a certain finisher time for the prizes of course, but nonetheless, the potential for winning some cash is pretty huge.

Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it to this year’s run, but I hope everyone that does can comment and give a shout out on how amazing it is this year!  It’s a very well organized run and is definitely one of my favorites.

The Reno Truckee River Path

Truckee River PathSo with all the business at work this week, I didn’t have a chance to explore a new running trail, but it has been unbelievably sunny, warm, and beautiful in the Reno Tahoe area (which is slight depressing, since it’s February, and I want to see some snow this winter).  However, given the beautiful weather, I decided to run a nice favorite route of mine along the Truckee River Bike Path through downtown Reno.  A portion of the path can also be referred to as the Reno Downtown Riverwalk, with the entire length of the path at approximately 12 miles, following the banks of the Truckee River from Idlewild Park in Reno all the way to the Eastern end of the City of Sparks.  I modified my route a bit as the path actually extends West about four miles past Idlewild Park, all the way down to Mayberry Park, which is where I started my run.   Mayberry Park to Downtown Reno, approximately around Wingfield Park between the Arlington and Virginia Street bridges, is about the distance of a 10k (or 6.21 miles).  This is a great route to take if you want to get in shape for a 10k, but you can modify your run accordingly depending on what you’re in the mood for, as there are many places to enter and exit the trail.

  Crissie Caughlin Park     Truckee River

Quarter Mile MarkersStarting at Mayberry Park and running to downtown Reno, there isn’t a significant change in elevation and it is a very nice easy route to take for either solo runs, group runs, or even biking.  I don’t think I’ve ever run this route without seeing at least one other runner or a group of runners enjoying the same area.  It is also very well maintained and pet-friendly, which is something I definitely appreciate (reference my aversion to running with a bag of warm puppy poo from my previous post).  The path has 1/4 mile markers too, which are pretty nice if you like a visual indicator for your pace and you don’t run with a GPS device of some sort.

Downtown Reno Truckee River

This path is also incorporated into various running events that are put on throughout the year in Reno:

1) The start line of the Reno Tahoe Odyssey is actually in Wingfield park, where I ended my run, and takes the opposite direction going West towards Mayberry.  This relay is pretty amazing as it goes 178 miles around Lake Tahoe, Carson City, and Virginia City coming to an end on the same path at Idlewild Park.

2) The Downtown River Run hosted by Reno 5000 runs along this route as part of their Marathon, Half Marathon, and 10k events giving runners a great experience through Downtown Reno and all of the Truckee River path.

3) The Great Basin Brewery 4-person relay, a personal favorite of mine, also runs along this route from the Sparks Great Basin Brewery location to Mayberry Park and back.  I would try this relay if you like to have a post-run beer with your friends.

I hope everyone has a chance to try the Truckee River path at some point, whether it is in one of the events above or just on your own.  It definitely highlights Downtown Reno and the Truckee River, so for anyone that isn’t familiar with the area, I would recommend trying this running route before anything else.

If you have a favorite part of the River path you like to run, please feel free to comment and share.  Don’t forget to follow my blog for other upcoming run highlights in the Reno and Lake Tahoe area.