Race Preview: 2017 Operation Jack Northwest Run (Tigard)

Operation Jack Run Northwest is a “choose your own mileage” type of race. You can choose to run a short distance up to 13 miles, a half marathon, a “tweener” which is any distance between a half and 26 miles, a marathon or an ultra-marathon (anything over 26.2 miles).  Steve Walters who is well known in the N.W. racing community and his Marathon Maniacs buddies are once again hosting this amazing event for autism awareness. If you are looking to put a an event on your December racing calendar that gives back, this is the perfect event for you! Here’s some backstory:

In 2010, Sam Felsenfeld set out to run marathons as way to raise awareness and money for autism research in the name of his son Jack (who is severely autistic). Sam ran 61 marathons and raised about $100,000 for Train 4 Autism (an organization that helps raise money for various autism organizations). The final race of that year was on December 26 in Southern California. His supporters here in the Pacific Northwest held an event on the same day which was a 6.1 hour run (in honor of Sam’s 61 marathons). It’s called the Operation Jack Northwest Run. Now in its seventh year, the Operation Jack Northwest Run will be held on December 9 and hopes to raise more than $1,500. Join runners and walkers to complete one or as many miles as you want in this 6 hour event.

What: 7th Annual Operation Jack Northwest Run,  supporting autism awareness.

Where: Summerlake Park:  11450 Winterlake Dr. Tigard, Or 97223

When: Saturday, December 9th. 2017.

Distance: 6 hours (whatever miles you complete) or a half-marathon. Each loop around the lake is .9375 miles. It’s a pretty course with wetlands and a park, giving a little something extra for family and friends to enjoy while they cheer you on.

Registration Info: 6 hour run =$60 plus a nominal processing fee. Half marathon=$40 plus a nominal processing fee. Register here. This is a chip-timed event.

Race Day Info: Starts at 8:00 am. If you need more than 6 hours to run a marathon, contact the RD’s and they can arrange an early start for you. ALL runners / walkers must be done by 2:00 pm. There is an on course aid station with water, sports drinks, chips, cookies, fruit, etc. There are real bathrooms, too!

Packet Pickup: Will start at 7:00 am on race day.

Participants from previous years Operation Jack Northwest Run

Donations: Since this is a fundraising event, donations are appreciated. To make a donation for Operation Jack, (even if you can’t run or walk), please visit this link:  NOTE: you can make a donation race day if you prefer to do so in person rather than online.

Swag: All finishers get a medal. There will be awards for the top male and female runners who run the most miles in 6 hours, and an award for the top male and female in the half marathon category.

Volunteers are needed. Please email: if you can help man the aid station.

As a former teacher, I’m familiar with a wide range of developmental disabilities that affect 18.7 percent of our united states population. I’m very encouraged to say that over the span of my lifetime, autism and it’s range of challenges and conditions have been getting more attention so that the public is more correctly informed of what autism spectrum disorder is (and isn’t).  The CDC states that 1 out of 7 children has a developmental disability, ranging from mild to severe. It’s safe to say that all of us know someone in our life who is affected.

For more information about Operation Jack and Sam’s journey, please visit his web site:


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