I remember back in October 2012, when I found out that my hometown of Keizer was starting up their first Turkey Trot, the Keizer Turkey Dash, and how excited I was. I also remember wondering just how well a Thanksgiving Day race would do, considering that there are a lot of great and well-attended Turkey Day races in nearby cities (Albany, Corvallis, Portland). I shouldn’t have worried as I was blown away that the 1st year event brought almost 600 runners! Last year saw that increase to over 700!
The 3rd year event is back and I expect it to be even bigger and better. The race begins at Keizer Station (just off the freeway) and there is PLENTY of parking. Race check-in will be in the giant Lowe’s and offers a warm place for runners to hang out until the race starts. The race will start and end right on the streets right in front of Lowes.
Check out a race map here. It still is labeled as 2012, but the route will remain the same as last year’s event. Runners will run briefly through the mall area before taking a detour and entering the Gubser neighborhood. Runners will complete a full circle around the neighborhood before returning to the mall area.
Runners will receive a commemorative shirt in addition to the logo coffee mugs enjoyed last year. I loved this unique approach to a race gift, as my shirt collection is just piling up to ridiculous heights! Age group winners also receive pie instead of ribbons! Proceeds from the event will help benefit the McNary Turf Track Project.
In 2012, I ran with my wife, brother, and two kiddos. The race is stroller friendly, as we can attest to. Just beware that within the first half mile or so, there is a spot where you take a small tunnel under the railroad tracks, which can become congested. There is a lot of opportunity to pass strollers in this section, but just beware.
If you want to check out a new turkey trot or find yourself in the area for the holidays, get registered for this great race. There is a cap on the race this year, and registrations are already ahead of last year at this time, so don’t delay.
Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.