INDEPENDENCE — The inaugural Oregon Hop Run is set to race through Independence on Sept. 28. The new event offers both 5- and 10-kilometer options, and a free kids’ half-mile dash.

Participants will start and finish at the amphitheater in Riverview Park. The course on the multi-use path is uninterrupted and away from traffic. Those in the 10K will make the loop twice.

Proceeds will benefit the Ella Curran Food Bank.

“We’re really excited about making this two loops,” said Ramon Martinez, the event organizer. “Typically the way it works out is (with) the longer option for a race, you’ve got participants going out in no-man’s land and there’s not a lot of action out there.”

Runners of the 10K will a ring a bell at a station to signal their half-way mark.

This format also is great for everyone cheering, Martinez said.

“We see this as a way to add some excitement for the folks who are doing the longer distance and give the extra boost of energy,” he said.

Martinez said people have emailed him asking if they can bring strollers.

“Heck yeah, you can,” he said.

Pets are allowed, too.

“We kindly ask people to pick up after their pals so everyone can have a good time,” he said.

The party isn’t going to end at the finish line, Martinez said.

Race bibs will have coupons for local businesses.

“We want the party to blossom out,” Martinez said. “We want people to check out our community.”

Rogue Farms will have staff on hand giving out samples of sodas, with a history lesson on hops in the region and the operation of Rogue Farms.

“When it’s all said and done, we want to help make a strong impact for the Ella Curran Food Bank,” Martinez said.

He said a very passionate committee has been organizing the Oregon Hop Run.

“It’s been great to have people contribute their ideas,” he said.

They’re still looking for volunteers to help with everything from the registration table to the awards ceremony.

“This is going to be an all-hands-on deck effort,” Martinez said. “There are a lot of bases we’ve got to cover to put on this event.”

They want to provide a great experience, he said.

“This is a building year for us, and we’re really excited about how things are lining up so far,” Martinez said.

The run is presented the city of Independence and the Monmouth-Independence Chamber of Commerce.

Ready to pound pavement

What: Oregon Hop Run

Where: Starts and finishes at Independence Riverview Park

When: Sept. 28. Start time is 10 a.m.

Cost: $30 for the 5K; $35 for the 10K. Same-day registration is $5 additional.

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