Small Food Races: Spud Run in Merrill & Tamale Trot in Salem


Food lovers rejoice! There are a few local races out there this fall that centers around food, well, at least has a food in their name!

The 3rd Annual Salem Tamale Trot will be held on Saturday, October 19th this year. Friends of Pimpollo is a non-profit based in Salem with the mission to provide educational opportunities to children and families living in the impoverished regions of Oaxaca and Chiapas, Mexico. Friends, I’ve been to Oaxaca and I can say first-hand that this region is GORGEOUS and the people so kind, but this state in Central Mexico is in crisis, as an estimated 76% of the residents live in extreme poverty, lacking basic necessities and education opportunities. While I’ve not been to Chiapas, it is definitely a place I’d love to visit someday, to see the pyramids at Chichen Itza and the falls at El Chiflon. Now I’ve got you dreaming of a warm and sunny Latin American vacation but let’s get back to the matter at hand! The Tamale Trot is a family-friendly event that features a 5K & 10K run or walk that raises funds to benefit the children of Southern Mexico. Music along the course will spur you on and create a party-like atmosphere as you run or walk your way along the waterfront at Salem Riverfront Park. Post run, enjoy mouth-watering tamales, chips & salsa, beer, non-alcoholic beverages, coffee, Mexican bread and much more.

What: 3rd Annual Salem Tamale Trot

When: Saturday, October 19th at 9:00 am

Registration: Online here. Day of Race registration is available but bring cash or checks as a form of payment. Register before 9/30 to guarantee a race shirt! Packet pick up will be on 10/17. Place TBD.

Course: The 5K is on all paved paths while the 10K follows a route that utilizes a paved, dirt and chip paths. The 5K has an aid station on course and the 10K has three. Strollers are allowed as well as friendly dogs on leashes.

Swag: Each participant receives a finisher’s medal and yummy Mexican cuisine post race. Guests can purchase food.

Day of Race Info: Free race day parking is available at the parking garages. Street parking is limited, so arrive early to get a spot.

If you live or are visiting Southern Oregon in October, you need to visit Merrill, Oregon (just 5 miles from the OR/CA border) to join in on the fun of the Annual Klamath Basin Potato Festival! Affectionately nicknamed the “Spud Run” . This year marks the 82nd festival of the versatile tuber and the town of Merrill goes all out to celebrate one of our country’s favorite carb. This week-long event includes a parade, a coronation of the Spud Queen, football games and a potato festival with you guessed it; a potato bake with all the trimmings! YUM! Sponsored by the Merrill Lyons Club, this event is a family friendly affair.

What: Spud Run 5 mile

Where: Merrill, OregonThe race itself is run around the perimeter of the town.

When: Saturday, October 12th at 8:00am

Registration: Here. Price for registration was not available at the time of this posting. Please visit:

Swag: Entrance into the festival and a baked potato with as many toppings as you want! There is also a beer garden where you can purchase drinks.


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