The Alden and Niki Strealy family of Lake Oswego encourages everyone to start the New Year with a fun run or walk on New Year's Day.
They are bringing back their popular MicroMarathon to take place Jan. 1 at George Rogers Park.
As in past years, the fun run is a benefit for Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) for children in the foster care program. It's an easy 2.62 mile out-and-back run or walk from George Rogers Park along Old River Road.
The Strealy's oldest son, Aidan, a 17-year-old junior at Lakeridge High, is the race director; assisting him is his cousin Ellie Dodson, a 16-year-old junior at Tigard High.
The Strealy family have been advocates for the foster care program for many years, and note that there are 8,700 children in Oregon's foster care program.
These children can spend up to 1 1/2 hours one way in transportation to ODHS meetings. Previous MicroMarathons raised funds to purchase iPads to be used in ODHS vehicles during the children's transporation, to provide entertainment and distraction.
Strealy said this year's proceeds will purchase duffle bags which the foster children can use to carry their belongings.
"They often have to carry their clothes and stuff in trash bags," Strealy said. "The duffle bags will be a more dignified way to carry their belongings."
Strealy says sponsorship opportunities are available and volunteers are needed to help the day of the race.
"The race begins at 10 a.m.," said Aidan Strealy. "We're using the same course — it's an out-and-back along Old River Road."
The race starts at the top of the hill at George Rogers Park and goes south along the Willamette River behind Marylhurst University, with the turn around occuring just outside of West Linn.
There will be first place awards for age groups for both men and women, and chocolate medallions for children as they cross the finish line. Water, coffee and hot chocolate, energy bars and bananas will be supplied.
"This is a fun run," Strealy said. "Don't forget to dress warmly! It can be breezy down by the river."
Registration fee is $26.20. Register online at http://tinyurl.com/yavafete.