Santa Claus is known for greeting naughty and nice children alike with three hearty “Ho”s, so why is one of the Portland area’s best Christmas themed races called the “Ho Ho Run”, with only two “Ho”s? Because Kevin Foreman, the quirky genius behind X-Dog Events built this 5k event around the classic Hostess chocolate covered and spiraled creme filled HoHos sponge cakes! A bounty of HoHos (and Sno-Balls, another seasonally appropriate Hostess staple) will fill the picnic tables at Cook Park at the finish, along with hot cider and other refreshments.
All finishers receive an evergreen seedling, and a chance to win some quirky raffle prizes in a random drawing. If you’re familiar with X-Dog events, you know I don’t use the word “quirky” lightly! The top three men and women and the top masters runners win a special holiday card from X-Dog. There used to be an archival fruitcake approaching antique status that was passed down by the overall winner from year to year, but I don’t know if that tradition is still continuing, or if the venerable fruitcake finally gave up the ghost (of Christmas past). Or maybe one of the winners accidentally (gasp) ate it, thereby gravely reducing his or her chances of surviving to defend the title.
Joking aside, and in the spirit of the season, participants are encouraged to bring canned food, jackets, and blankets to be donated to Union Gospel Mission, and dog and cat food for the Oregon Humane Society. Those who bring a donation will earn a $5.00 discount off their race entry or the cost of an event shirt.
The 5K course is a nice mixture of neighborhood streets, paved park paths, and wood chip trails through the woods. There is one noticeable hill near the start and a few rollers elsewhere along the course.
Don’t pass up the guilt-free Hostess snacks, the chance to donate to great organizations and win random X-Dog oddities, and a brisk race along a varied and pleasant route! No matter the number of “Ho”s, this is one of the most festive holiday races around.
What: HoHo Run 5K
When: Sunday, December 2nd, 2018
Where: Cook Park, Tigard
What time: 10:00a
Registration: You can register online HERE for $22 ($15 for kids 6-12, and $5 for kids under 6). Adult fees increase to $25 on November 18th. Day of race registration and packet pickup is available at the start beginning at 8:30a.