Race Recap: 2016 Run For Your Nuts

A few of my "nutty" friends at Run For Your Nuts 2016.

I always enjoy small local races, but Run For Your Nuts has a special appeal. This year was no exception. Here are some of the things I enjoyed about Run For Your Nuts.

The Race Name
Admit it – the name of this race is awesome! I particularly enjoy the reaction of people when I tell them the name of the race I was running over the weekend. It’s usually a double-take and a “What?” It also helps when I’m trying to round up running friends to join me. How can you turn down a race with this name?

The Shirt
You’ve got to get the shirt if you are running this race. This was my second year running this race and the shirt was creative and different both years. And, what girl doesn’t want a shirt that says, “Run For Your Nuts”? It turns heads and makes me smile!

The Race Itself
Run For Your Nuts is a 5K that meanders around Mt. Angel. This is not a straight road race. I enjoyed the variety the course offers from paved roads to gravel roads to trail and back to sidewalks and pavement. There is a challenging hill, but after all the gasping and wheezing on the way up I truly appreciated the reward of the sweet downhill and flat roads for the last mile.
Fortunately, the weather was dry for us at race time – which is pretty amazing for a December day, but it was quite cool. However, after the first incline I was no longer cold for the rest of the race.
This small local race attracted 163 participants this year. The event definitely has a small town feel and a variety of ages, paces, and includes both runners and walkers. There is a casual fun run feel to the event, however, it is chip-timed with overall and age group awards given post-race.

The Bling
OK, this race doesn’t have actual bling. But, I appreciate the originality of the post-race “bling.” Instead of being handed a medal, you receive a bag of custom packaged local hazelnuts. There’s something much more fun about originality. Even though I don’t eat hazelnuts, I looked forward to receiving my bag at the end (which I shared with a hazelnut lover.)

The Festive Environment
Held during the Mt. Angel Hazelnut Festival and German Market, this race feels like a kick-off to the Christmas season. The Mt. Angel Festhalle (where the race starts and ends) is filled with vendors selling their various wares. From hazelnuts and hazelnut products to pies, yard art, yarn, handmade items, and more – you can definitely start your Christmas shopping here. The group I was with went home with pie, a handmade knife, yarn, and espresso infused vodka. We also enjoyed a variety of samples from vendors, as well.

I would recommend you put Run For Your Nuts on your list for next year. A 5K is a great distance in the late fall when the weather is unpredictable, you can enjoy the uniqueness of Mt. Angel during a quieter time of year, your pre and post-race time is indoors with some festive shopping and sampling, and you can tell everyone you are going to Run For Your Nuts!


About Annette Vaughan (495 Articles)
Annette Vaughan is a runner and personal trainer in Canby, Oregon. She began running at the age of 30 and became hooked after her first race (even though she is a self-proclaimed slow runner.) She enjoys small local races from 5Ks to half-marathons, with a 30K on the books as her longest run ever. She has also become a huge fan of obstacle course races and just can't get enough of them. Annette is a certified personal trainer, who believes in promoting movement since our bodies were designed to move. The more we move, the better we move and function in everyday life.
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