Race Preview: Hood to Coast Race Series’ 2016 Turkey Trot Relay and 5k


Over the past few years, Hood to Coast’s annual Turkey Trot has seen some transformation. In 2015, the event moved from a Thanksgiving Day morning run at Mary S. Young park in West Linn to a Wednesday night run through the Christmas lights at PIR. Now in 2016, the event’s day and location are staying the same, but they are forgoing the 10k distance and instead adding 4-person relay. Now these changes may or may not be up your alley, but a little diversity may be just what is needed in your running schedule. Read on for details.

When the date and location changed in 2015, I know there were a few people who were not thrilled. I know, personally, that it was weird to think about associating a Thanksgiving-themed race with Christmas lights – and even before Thanksgiving. However, I decided to try it out and let the experience dictate how I felt. You can read my recap from last year’s event, but here’s a few sentences I pulled about how it went.

[B]y golly, so much swag. All participants (21+) got 2 free Full Sail beers or Barefoot wine, as well as a pumpkin pie, big bags of Duck and Beaver sugar cookies, and race coffee mugs. The two colors of mugs allowed our family to take home two unique ones – sweet!

All-in-all, my little family left cold and tired, yet with smiles on our faces, arms full of stuff, and memories made. My almost 4-year-old is already asking if we can do this again next year. I have a feeling we will be back.

Basically, I had a much better time than anticipated and the race really held its own. It also allowed me to only fight the PIR Christmas traffic once and also made it so I could run this race AND another Turkey Trot on Thursday.

The addition of the relay (and removal of the 10k) is also not such a bad move in my opinion (though others may differ). The course itself already requires multiple loops through the lights due to the length of the course. A 10k means even more laps (and subsequent race course bunching) of a beautiful, yet repetitive course. We spoke with HTC and they stated that the listed course map is “backward” (we believe this essentially means the same thing as last year – that the course will run in a counter-clockwise motion).

Additionally, Thanksgiving, in many occasions, means that family from all walks of life are getting together to celebrate. A 4 person relay, where each team member will run two legs (consisting of 2 mile laps), means that more of your non-running family may be willing/able to come celebrate a race together! Walk teams of one leg of 2 miles are also allowed.

Then stick around for music, activities, and your awesome swag bag! Packet pickup is available at Carr Chevrolet in Beaverton on Tuesday, November 22 from 10-7. Consider giving it a shot this year!

HTC Race Series Turkey Trot Relay and 5k
When: 7pm on Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Where: Portland International Raceway, 1940 N Victory Blvd., Portland, OR 97217
Register: Online here; $35 (through 11/6; $40 after)

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.

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