October 9, 2016: 1 Day, 2 “Great Pumpkin” Races – YOU DECIDE!

Photo courtesy of XDog Events

It isn't too often that races share such similar names, but for one day in October two different races sharing essentially the same name are coming to the Mid-Valley! The 2016 Great Pumpkin 5k XC race in Dayton and the 2016 Great Pumpkin Run in Corvallis are both sure to be great events. Just make sure you head to the right city after registering!

The 2016 Great Pumpkin 5k XC race takes place at Heiser Farms, and is a true trail event. Head to their site for great details, including info on costumes and post-race festivities like beer, food, trains, and pumpkin cannons. I didn’t run this race last year, but we went to Heiser Farms during their fall festival and had a blast.

Costumes are encouraged and with X-Dog at the helm, the atmosphere is sure to be good. We have participated in their events over the years, and they have always been a blast. Brian ran the event last year and had this to say:

The 5K course was fun, but tough. There were several short climbs, and a lot of turns in the forested area. That was not good for me as my shoes were more for road runs, and the traction was not ideal. I paid the price for not grabbing my go-to trail shoes on the way out that morning. Personally, I thought the race was very well run. I hope to go back next year. The time of year and location make it a great run. There was an announcement that next year may possibly include a late afternoon start time, more zombies, beer garden, and a band. All great incentives to return for a great time. Being able to link the yearly pumpkin patch trip with a run for the family makes a good day even better.

The course may have been short last year according to a couple of accounts, but trail races can always be challenging to get an accurate measure.

Register here ASAP, as fees are only $20! There is also a team option for those that can put together 4 people,  and awards will be given to the fastest male, female, and mixed teams.


The other similarly named race on October 9, 2016 is Corvallis’ 26th annual Great Pumpkin Run. The race is sponsored by Home Life, Inc, a local nonprofit that provides “residential and support services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities for over 40 years”.

Race Course

Race Course

The event includes a 10k run starting at 930a, a 5k run/walk starting at 940a, and a 1k fun run, which is turning into an obstacle course this year. The 10k race is $35 (through 9/21 and $40 afterwards) and the 5k is $30 (through 9/21 and $35 afterwards).

Unlike the trail race above, this Great Pumpkin race allows strollers on their course – which begins at Benton County Fairgrounds and heads north on a paved and rural out-and-back. It’s a little tough to gauge from the picture on the right, but my hypothesis, thanks to Google Maps, is that runners will start by heading west along the Midge Cramer Path to the foot of Bald Hill Natural Area. Luckily runners won’t have to run up it (there are challenging races that do however), but will instead veer north and do an out-and-back along the quiet rural Oak Creek Drive before returning to the start.

After the race, runners will receive a pint of Calapooia Brewing Co. beer, and there will be food and music going on as well. Wear a costume, as there will be a contest as well.

Whichever Great Pumpkin race you decide to attend, it looks like won’t be disappointed!


About Matt Rasmussen (1568 Articles)
Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching the Olympics, sampling craft beers, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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