The 2015 Keizer Jingle Dash is back again on Saturday, December 19th. The 5th annual event is seeing some changes, but the Keizer Chamber of Commerce team knows how to put on a race, so I still expect a solid event. They have done (and done well) the Keizer Turkey Dash and the Willamette Valley Marathon and Iris Runs for years now, so this ain't their first rodeo.
First, the course. Unlike years past, where the race course meanders through the McNary Estates neighborhood, this year's event will be held entirely on McNary Golf Club cart paths.
This change necessitates a change in time from a historical 5pm start to this year's 330pm gun. As this race always hovers around the Winter Solstice, the last glimpses of sun are leaving the night sky as the race starts, and is essentially pitch black a few minutes in. While they have done a good job at lighting up the short cart path sections with flood lights, it would be costly and essentially impossible to keep the course lit manually. Hence, the change to an earlier time.
Despite these changes, a lot about what makes the event great will still be around. And to be honest, the lights in the neighborhood have seemed to be a little lacking over the past few years. Here is an excerpt in last year's recap:
All-in-all, it was a great event. I felt that this year’s neighborhood decorations were on-par with last year, but there is so much room for improvement. That is not a race problem by any means, but I just wish that more people got in the spirit and illuminated their abodes.
Runners will be able to warm up and cool down in the Courthouse Athletic Club, receive Christmas themed finisher’s gear (typically a Santa hat), and get some warm chili to fill you up afterwards. Numbers are already up this year, so come down and have a good time running and take in all Keizer has to offer. Following the race, stick around for the Keizer Miracle of Christmas Lights Display and then head to Keizer Station for some food and shopping.
Keizer Jingle Dash 5k (Keizer)
Where: McNary Estates (117 McNary Estates Dr N)
Register: Online here; $25 ($12 for youth)