April 28, 2024

5k, 10k, Half Marathon


The Oxbow Trail Runs a fun family event in the scenic Oxbow Regional Park, Metro, just outside Gresham on the Sandy River, about 30 minutes from downtown Portland. This year’s date for the Oxbow Trail Runs is September 10. Registration opens on June 1. The 5k is a kid-friendly course, only $25 for those 18 and under.


The start and finish are at the Alder Picnic area on the Sandy River.

Float or float? Spend the day at Oxbow.

Initially, we thought of floating a popular section of the Sandy River Water Trail 3.5 miles downriver to Dabney State Park after the run. However, no insurance company would allow it. So instead, each finisher gets a root beer float!

The Alder Picnic Area is reserved for participants and their guests for the day.   ETA will serve complimentary sandwiches (meat and vegan) for participants to enjoy after the race. In addition, there are horseshoe pits and play structures, plus a trail down to the beach on the Sandy River.

Shuttle with a friend and float the river in a tube, boat, or kayak. Follow the safety guidelines of the Sandy River Trail Guide. Each river user’s responsibility is to be safe, as neither Northwest Dirt Churners nor Oregon Metro is part of the river float.

Reserve a camping spot and stay for the weekend.

Alder Picnic Area


The 5k, 10k, and Half Marathon start and finish are at the Alder Picnic Area in the park’s center next to the Sandy River. The 2023 course uses more trails next to the river, and the Half Marathon starts with a loop instead of an out-and-back. Each race is cupless. The Half and 10k will have water and Naked Nutrition electrolytes aid station for refills of handhelds, etc., at the two-mile turnaround point and nine-mile point for the Half.



5K– The 5k is reasonably flat and a great way for new runners to get acclimated to running trails—the start of the run winds through the Ancient Forest before climbing on a gravel road. The 5k splits from the other courses and heads to the Sandy River, providing stunning views of the oxbow bend of the river and the foothills surrounding it. The boat ramp briefly breaks up the river trail, then continues down the river to the finish.

5K Elevation Profile

10k- The 10k follows the 5k route for the first mile, where the two distances split, and the run climbs up to Alder Ridge. The trail circles around Elk Meadow. On a clear day, Mt. Hood appears between the towering Douglas Firs. On the other side of the plateau is an out-and-back along the equestrian trail. Runners will be treated with a 300′ challenging climb in a half-mile to the road, only to turn around at the aid station and navigate the stairs and roots on the descent. Continue the loop on Alder Ridge past the moss of ferns of the forest to meet back on the 5k course on the river trails to the finish line.

10k Elevation Profile

Half Marathon will be two 10k loops with an extra mile circle on the river and through the Ancient Forest Trails on the first loop. The total elevation is 1560′.

Half Marathon Elevation Profile


Oxbow Regional Park is an excellent location for families to enjoy a weekend of camping and trails. The 5k entry fee is only $25 for kids under 18.

Race Day Details


Oxbow Regional Park, Metro opens at 6:30 am. Remember, it is $5 per car to park. The parking fee is included for those who register by September 1.

Parking is at Alder Picnic Area until complete. In addition, there are other parking areas throughout the park.

Check-in from 8-8:45 am for Half Marathon, 8-9:05 am for 10k, 8-9:25 am for 5k. Water will be available to fill a water bottle before and after the race (remember this is a cupless race). Park restrooms are near the picnic area.

Half Marathon will start at 9:00 am, the 10k at 9:20 am, and the 5k at 9:40 am from Alder Picnic Area. We’ll have a pre-race meeting five minutes before each start.

The finish is also at Alder Picnic Area. Finishers get a cup and utensils for root beer floats. In addition, guests can have root beer floats ($5) and sandwiches from ETA ($10.)


ETA Catering will have plenty of food options in the picnic area after the race.


Stay until the park closes at dusk.



Registration is available on 1/1/2024 through UltraSignup. This race is limited to 150 total runners.

Unique awards for the top 3 male and female finishers of each race and Masters (40+) division. Prizes will be raffled off from our sponsors for the participants.

5k – $50, $60 April 1

Under 19 – $25

10k – $65, $75 April 1

Half – $80, $90 April 1

No refunds, as all sales are final. See the race cancellation policy for more details.

This race is sanctioned by USA Track and Field

About Oxbow Regional Park, Metro

All vehicles entering the park as part of the event will pay a $5 parking fee at the entry booth; busses are $7. The parking fee is included for those who register by September 5. Cell service is minimal.

No Pets–  We love them, but pets are not allowed in the vehicle or on a leash at Oxbow Regional Park. This is to preserve the sensitive habitat of the park.

No Alcohol–  Alcohol is not allowed in Oxbow Regional Park. Smoking or Vaping is also not allowed.

10k and Half Marathon Runners get to enjoy the trails on Alder Ridge above the Sandy River