“Embrace” the Community: A Run Oregon preview of the inaugural Run Foster PDX 5k

Run Oregon is a full-time job in itself, but it’s not all that I do. In fact, it’s not all that any of us bloggers and administrators do – we all have other jobs that keep us busy. We do this because we love running, we love the community, we love the people we meet, and we love bringing information out about races here in Oregon and SW Washington.

I have competed in a variety of events – from an 8-person obstacle course event in Central Oregon all the way to the 35,ooo+ participant Shamrock Run. I like to think that I have seen it all and gotten the word out there about a bunch of worthwhile races and helped some people decide to participate in runs that they wouldn’t have known about otherwise.

That being said, this next race is one that holds a special spot in my heart in my “real life” outside of Run Oregon. The inaugural Run Foster 5k is coming on Saturday, September 26, 2015 and you owe it to yourselves to run or volunteer. Even if you are undecided or booked up, I just encourage you to read on.

An event benefiting kids in foster care

Let’s make every step count

It’s a simple two sentence combination that says a whole bunch in just 12 words. And it’s 5 words of those that really hit home – “benefiting kids in foster care”. As someone who knows first hand the daily, let alone lifetime, struggles of youth in foster care, it’s really amazing to be a part of something that directly benefits youth who have been ripped from their homes for situations that they had no control over.

Did you know that in June – September quarter of 2014, there were over 7500 kids in foster care statewide, including over 1500 in Multnomah County alone? Often times, I hear people state that they would love to provide foster care, but don’t really know how to get started. Others have bad feelings about, or are scared of, involving themselves with the Child Welfare division of the Department of Human Services (DHS). Still others state that they aren’t sure they are ready to provide foster care. I’m here to state that these are all very valid concerns. But I, and the directors of this race at Embrace Oregon, seem to follow the same idea that everyone can do something for a child in foster care. And you can start off by participating in this event. From their website:

Run Foster is our group’s way of converging our passion for running, our love of our city and our desire to help vulnerable children. We believe in what Embrace Oregon does and wanted to get involved in our unique way. Embrace Oregon seeks to connect caring people with vulnerable children through partnership with Department of Human Services Child Welfare for the thriving of our communities.

The event will take place as a double loop entirely within Gabriel Park. I have personally never been to this park, but from what I hear, there are a couple narrow areas and a couple short sections of gravel path. Expect a bit of a hilly course as well. Strollers are welcome, but dogs are not. There will also be a Kid’s race (with an adorable logo).

Running this event may be a simple way to get started with your involvement, but I (personally) hope that materializes into something more. Regardless of if you run this race or not, please consider volunteering, donating, or finding out how you can become involved in the community for our kids’ sakes.

While this may be a Portland-area program currently, I know there is a lot of traction to move things statewide, so regardless of what corner of the state you live, there is movement. Like the Embrace Oregon and Run Foster Facebook pages for great information, stories, and ideas on how to get involved!


Run Foster PDX 5k (Portland)
When: 9am
Where:Baseball field near parking lot off of SW 42nd and Vermont St.
Register: Online here; $35, Register a family of 4 for $100

About Author

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.

%d bloggers like this: