Willamette Mission Trail Challenge 10k/5k

The last race of the Run Wild Adventure’s series season is always a bittersweet time for me. I love shooting photography and committed a weekend a month for most of the past eight months to shooting for Run Wild Adventures. Being the last trail running race means I’m not out shooting a race, talking with friends like my 2nd shooter Chris on the drive out to the event, or Gary the race director. However, there is good news about the end of this season, next seasons starts with a new race!

Gary’s brother Ryan is stepping up to the Race Director role and is hosting a new Run Wild Adventures race, The South Santiam Half Marathon outside Lebanon, Oregon. The event takes place in September, you can check out more details here.

Run Wild Adventures - Willamette Mission Trail Challenge


Back to this race, my normal second shooter, Chris from People Photos, was in Georgia for a conference, so I brought on Johan who also shot the finish line photos at Shellburg this season. He took up the start/finish line duties again and I was able to get out on the trail again for photos. I really like taking photos on the trail, but it’s always a challenge to know if you are in a good position on the trail, get the gear set up, and constantly thinking maybe the next corner or stretch is better all while against time as runners run towards you. I like to choose a spot on the trail towards the end if possible, that way the runners have had time to spread out. This allows for usually a single shot of everyone, and gives time for my flash to recycle between runners.


The race day was great, perfect weather and it seemed like everyone had a great time. I love Willamette Mission State Park, I feel it is one of those hidden gem parks. Sure you may go there for the civil war reenactment on 4th of July weekend, but taking your time to explore the park you will find great trails and even paved paths for riding bikes. I highly encourage you to check it out, race or not. Here is the direct link to the parks website.






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