Of the myriad of Thanksgiving morning races you can choose from, this one might just be the best; not because it’s completely free, but because the race director and volunteers who put on this event, really have hearts for community.
Three years ago when the Les Schwab / Hood to Coast Turkey Trot was moved from Mary S. Young park to Portland International Raceway a month before the event was to take place, West Linn local and Oregon City High School teacher Laura Jeffrey and a few of her friends decided that they couldn’t watch a beloved turkey day tradition disappear from their neighborhood. Laura says that when her children complain about something, her response is to “find a solution”. With that in mind, Laura’s solution was to put on a race of her own! With zero race directing experience but a passion for running (Laura has run around 25 half marathons) and a group of like-minded and supportive women, Laura and her crew put on a successful first-ever event.
In 2015, 87 people showed up for the inaugural West Linn Turkey Trot 3 Mile. No race entry was collected, but participants were asked to bring non-perishable food donations for the West Linn Food Pantry. Laura and her volunteers collected 200 lbs of food that year. Last year, just under 300 runners and walkers participated and raised over 600 lbs of food. Students who face food insecurity come through Jeffrey’s classroom each day. Collecting food donations for the pantry is Laura’s way of giving back.
In the spirit of community, everything has been generously donated to keep this race going year after year, including a timing clock on loan from Clackamas Community College and OCHS students who have come to sing the national anthem to kick off the event. Jeffrey’s goal to “keep things casual and community minded with a goal of gathering people who want to give back on the day of food and gratitude” are definitely what makes this event continue to grow every year.
You won’t find a website advertising this event, so please make sure to read the details below carefully.
What: The third annual West Linn Turkey Trot
When: 9:00 am on Thanksgiving morning, Thursday, November 23rd.
Where: Mary S. Young Park. 19900 Willamette Drive. West Linn, Or
Course Info: The course is just under three miles and is a mix of chipped and paved trails. There is an option to complete just one mile. The course is hilly for the first mile and then rather flat for the final 2 – there will be a police officer on site to keep trotters safe when they have to go across a crosswalk at mile 2.
Race Day Info: No registration necessary! While this course is not chipped time, there will be a clock for those who want to know their time. Please arrive on time to find parking and to bring your non-perishable food items. Post-race, enjoy hot coffee or hot chocolate and treats under the covered area with other runners and walkers.
Thank you to local sponsors like Clackamas Community College, West Linn Starbucks, Safeway, Trader Joe’s and Market of Choice for their donations and support of this community event.