Zoo invites families to get fit before they feast

Oregon Zoo, Oregon Road Runners Club host annual Turkey Trot, Nov. 27 

A costumed turkey mascot limbers up outside the Oregon Zoo in preparation for the traditional Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot. The run-walk takes place Nov. 27 beginning at 8 a.m. at the zoo. Photo by Julie Cudahy, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo.

A costumed turkey mascot limbers up outside the Oregon Zoo in preparation for the traditional Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot. The run-walk takes place Nov. 27 beginning at 8 a.m. at the zoo. Photo by Julie Cudahy, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oregon Zoo invites runners and walkers of all ages to its annual Turkey Trot on Thursday, Nov. 27. The Thanksgiving Day event, organized by the Oregon Road Runners Club, includes a four-mile run and fitness walk, starting at 8 a.m., and a half-mile Tot Trot, beginning at 9:30 a.m. A portion of Turkey Trot proceeds will fund animal care and programs at the zoo. 

“Turkey Trot is a fun and healthy way to gather together and start your Thanksgiving,” said Teri Dresler, interim zoo director. “The runners really get into the spirit of it, and a lot of people show up in costumes. Every year, we see folks dressed as turkeys, pilgrims — even Elvis.” 

Events are non-competitive and meant for fun, but a timing clock will be available at the finish line for participants who wish to time themselves. The ORRC will provide nutritious snacks at the end of the courses, as well as a chocolate turkey for each person who crosses the finish line. Pumpkin pies will be given to 150 randomly selected finishers. 

Each event starts at the World Forestry Center and finishes inside the zoo by the concert amphitheater. For information and registration forms, visit www.orrc.net/races/turkey_trot/turkey_tba.htm

Pets and roller skates are not allowed in any of the events. Participants with strollers or child-carrier backpacks are allowed only in the four-mile fitness walk and must start at the back of the group (the third wave starts at 8:30 a.m.).  

Parking is limited, and runners who haven’t visited the area since last year should be aware that a Pay to Park system is now in use throughout Washington Park. Pay-to-park hours begin at 9:30 a.m. and the first half hour is free. (You still need to put your parking space number into the pay station to get this free 30 minutes.) For more information, visit washingtonparkpdx.org/parking

Participants are encouraged to ride MAX. TriMet’s Washington Park light-rail station is just steps away from the registration area and starting lines. Buses and MAX trains will be operating on a Sunday schedule because of the holiday. Timetables are available at www.trimet.org

To see a video of a previous year’s Turkey Trot featuring Elvis and other costumed participants, go to bit.ly/OregonZooTurkeyTrot

The ORRC, a nonprofit organization, was founded in Seaside, Ore., in 1970 as an outgrowth of the Trail’s End Marathon, the first marathon held in the Pacific Northwest. The club is a member of the national Road Runners Club of America, and is one of the largest RRCA running clubs in the United States with roughly a thousand members. The club conducts races and developmental programs for children, adults, runners and walkers, and plans and organizes more than 15 running and walking events in the Portland vicinity. For more information, visit www.orrc.net. 

The zoo is a service of Metro and is dedicated to its mission of inspiring the community to create a better future for wildlife. Committed to conservation, the zoo is currently working to save endangered California condors, Oregon silverspot and Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies, western pond turtles and Oregon spotted frogs. Other projects include studies on Asian elephants, polar bears, orangutans and giant pandas. The zoo relies in part on donations through the Oregon Zoo Foundation to undertake these and many other animal welfare, education and sustainability programs. 

The zoo opens at 9 a.m. daily and is located five minutes from downtown Portland, just off Highway 26. General zoo admission is $11.50 (ages 12-64), $10 for seniors (65 and up), $8.50 for children (ages 3-11) and free for those 2 and younger. Additional information is available at www.oregonzoo.org or by calling 503-226-1561.

The zoo opens at 9 a.m. daily and is located five minutes from downtown Portland, just off Highway 26. General zoo admission is $11.50 (ages 12-64), $10 for seniors (65 and up), $8.50 for children (ages 3-11) and free for those 2 and younger. Additional information is available atwww.oregonzoo.org or by calling 503-226-1561.