Another Run Oregon Guest Blogger recap: Ugly Holiday Sweater Run and Walk (Tigard, OR)

Ugly-Holiday-Sweater-run-and-walkWe received another submission to our Run Oregon inbox highlighting the Ugly Holiday Sweater Run. Run Oregon reader Emily Sallee. She ran with our previous guest blogger and wanted to highlight her experience as well. You can do the same via Submit a Guest Post in the “Contact Us” tab.
The Ugly Sweater pandemic has hit the Portland running scene! Summerlake Park in Tigard hosted a parade of holiday sweater ugliness on Saturday, December 21st at the 2nd Annual Ugly Holiday Sweater Run to benefit the Ladybug CDH Foundation.The Ladybug CDH Foundation was founded by a local mother whose second daughter, Finley (now 3), was born with a life-threatening condition called Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia, with a meek 40-50% chance of survival. The mission of the Ladybug Foundation is to raise awareness of this very rare and serious birth defect, as well as raise money for research and families affected by CDH. Finley dressed in her finest white faux fur coat for the occasion and was joined by her parents and big sister.

To top it off, this 5K run/walk was FREE (Unthinkable! Inconceivable! It’s a Christmas Miracle!) to all participants! Everyone was encouraged to bring donations in the form of 100% cotton receiving blankets, infant socks and hats, or monetary contributions of any amount. When it was all said and done, the race received 64 receiving blankets, 83 pairs of socks, 42 hats, and $110 in cash/checks! In addition to the complementary, *gasp* attractive race bib, there were door prizes and a smorgasbord of post-race fare, from Alpenrose eggnog to Einstein Brothers’ bagels to Christmas cookies and cocoa. Apparently the Ladybug Foundation is a “go big or go home” sort of organization, though the race itself was intimately small, comprised of about fifty ugly sweater-clad runners and walkers (and their running passengers of the smaller size).
This race had everything I look for in a fun run — local proximity, small size, little (or no) cost, and fun-motivated runners willing to forgo a PR in exchange for extra laughs. Although can I get up on the medal stand for one self-glorifying moment to note that I actually did set a 5K PR by chasing the two runners in front of me… wearing 5+ pounds of bedazzled sweater no less. And then at the finish line (i.e. third loop of the park noted by a cone and the pace runner / first finisher), I joined with the second finisher in front of me, swapping laughs over not wanting to stop to pick up a headband (me) or tie a shoe (her) in order to keep up the pace against each other and briefly talking about our running journey and our short-term running goals for 2014.
The Ugly Holiday Sweater Run sweated (literally and figuratively) love for the running community. Throw on some shoes and an ugly sweater, run a few park loops, and instantly connect with other [crazy] people spending their Saturday morning–the first of Winter Break–doing the same.
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