Lace up Thanksgiving morning for zoo's annual Turkey Trot

Oregon Zoo, Oregon Road Runners Club host annual Turkey Trot, Nov. 28

The Oregon Zoo invites runners and walkers of all ages to its annual Turkey Trot on Thursday, Nov. 26. The Thanksgiving Day tradition, organized by the Oregon Road Runners Club, raises around $25,000 each year to 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."

Turkey Trot includes a four-mile run and fitness walk, starting at 8 a.m., and a quarter-mile Tot Trot, beginning at 9:30 a.m.

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 central lawn. Find more information and registration forms here. 

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 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

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

The Oregon 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, Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits, Oregon silverspot and Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies, Western pond turtles and Oregon spotted frogs. Other projects include studies on black rhinos, Asian elephants, polar bears and bats.
The zoo relies in part on community support through donations to the Oregon Zoo Foundation to undertake these and many other animal welfare, education and sustainability programs. The zoo is located five minutes from downtown Portland, just off Highway 26 at exit 72. The zoo is also accessible by MAX light rail line. Visitors who travel to the zoo via MAX receive $1.50 off zoo admission. Find fare and route information online or by calling TriMet Customer Service at 503-238-RIDE (7433).
General zoo admission is $10.50 (ages 12-64), $9 for seniors (65 and up), $7.50 for children (ages 3-11) and free for those 2 and younger; 25 cents of the admission price helps fund regional conservation projects through the zoo’s Future for Wildlife program. A parking fee of $4 per car is also required. Additional information is available by calling 503-226-1561.

Media contact: 

Hova Najarian | 503-220-5714 |
Ian Gillingham | 503-220-2448 |