News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Running commentary

Some might call it a “slice of heaven.”

What could be better as a runner? Get up early on Thanksgiving morning, layer on your cold-weather athletic gear and go to a running event called “I Like Pie,” where after chugging around snowy trails in the Old Mill District you are offered a piece of freshly baked pie?

That is what I and some family and friends did for the first time this year, and the event may very well become a new tradition.

I Like Pie, sponsored by FootZone of Bend and Cascade Lakes Relay, is a win, win, win situation. The $10 entry fee goes to support NeighborImpact and a program called Girls on the Run.

NeighborImpact is a non-profit in Central Oregon that does tremendous work, as their mission states “to support people and strengthen communities” through food distribution, help with housing, supporting families under financial strain, and connecting people with other resources. Last year alone, the organization distributed over 55,000 pounds of food to people in need, including here in Sisters. The organization also has ties to Early Head Start and Head Start educational programs for families and their children birth to five years old that includes medical and dental health, school readiness, and resource referrals for parents.

Girls on the Run Central Oregon is a program for girls in grades 3-5 that uses training for a 5K (3.1-mile) run as a way to promote self-respect and healthy lifestyles with that age group. According to its website, which is linked to the Boys and Girls Club of Central Oregon (www.bgcbend.org), weekly lessons promote all aspects of a girl’s development including physical, social and emotional development.

Girls from this fall’s training program led off the I Like Pie run wearing pink capes that read “Running is my superpower.” The run/walk itself is a non-competitive 5-kilometer (1.5-mile) course on the walking trails near the Old Mill District. This year’s snowy weather made things a bit slippery, but despite the bitter cold weather and icy conditions at least 1,000 of the 2,000 who originally registered took part.

Participants, some decked out with drumstick, turkey, and pie-slice hats, shuffled their way through the course with noticeable good cheer. As I said, what’s not to love? The running community gathered together on a holiday designed for gratitude, burning off a few calories before the big feast by moving along the paths on the Deschutes River only to have smiling people offer you a piece of pie just beyond the finish line.

Participants are also invited to compete in a pie baking contest. Not to brag, but one of my family members took one of the top prizes for a maple-based pie, which made the day all the sweeter for our family.

Maybe next year I Like Pie will include a noticeable contingent of running pie lovers from Sisters. I’ll see you there!

 

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