The Reeder Mile

Quick History.  Reeder Reservoir is 3 miles (as the bird flies) from sleepy downtown Ashland, Oregon.  Reeder supplies the water for the City of Ashland, and parts of the Rogue Valley.  There is much debate as to if the trails leading to, and the road around the body of water are illegal for hikers and runners.  I’v been threatened with citation as well as waved along by both water bureau workers, sheriffs and Ashland Police working in the area. In short, I’m not overly concerned with the rumors of fines and jail time for using the trails in this area.

On a run, a few summers ago, teammate Ryan Matz and I decided it would be cool to host a mile footrace on the flat dirt road that surrounds Reeder.  We measured the course, designed and printed shirts, got prizes organized, and got our friends together for a simple but unique race.

The event was low key, but a success. Folks raced hard, reached the hurt zone far sooner than they should have and spent a warm summer evening in the mountains.

2013 Reeder Mile Shirt
2013 Reeder Mile Shirt
Tentative 2014 Shirt Design
Tentative 2014 Shirt Design

I’v said it before and I’ll probably say it again, racing is pretty fun.  Contrary to popular belief in the Mountain/Ultra/Trail world, races don’t have to be long or hilly to be fun.  Short, fast races in sweet locations can be a pretty good time as well.

One of these July evenings a few folks will line up for a mile footrace. A distance they haven’t touched since high school, it will be on dirt, around a lake. Few will run a PR, fewer will care, it is likely no one will wear a watch.

Hurting really bad for a long time is great. Hurting really bad for a short time is great. Folks, this race will be much much shorter than any other race you will run this year.  There won’t be any aid stations, twitter updates, chaffing, drop bags, or porta potties;  Just you, your shoes, and a 1609 meters of dirt.


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