It's been a little over a year since Iris Maria Chavez and Vivian Tang reached out to Trail Mixed about their desire to start a Trail Mixed run club in Portland. Now, the Portland Run Club is one of our most successful run clubs with an ever growing email list an established community all thanks to the leadership of Iris and Vivian.
With it being a year since they started things up, we felt it was only appropriate to take a moment to highlight and introduce them.
Meet Vivian & Iris:
Where did you grow up?/How long have you lived in PDX?
Vivian: I grew up in the SF Bay Area. I moved to Portland 6 years ago after living in Pennsylvania for 2 years. However, I was in Portland for graduate school a few years before Pennsylvania, too.
Iris: I grew up in Denver, CO but have lived in New Orleans, Chicago and Washington, DC before moving to PDX in 2014.
How/when did you get started with running?
Vivian: I will never forget the trauma of the 1-mile run at freshman year high school basketball tryouts! It was impossibly hard and motivated me to improve. I got into long-distance road running at the end of high school and then trail running at the end of college.
Iris: I started running as a young person. Winning a few field day races in Middle School got me interested, so when a friend asked me to join the Track & Field team in 9th grade I jumped at the chance. And it's all snowballed from there!
What can folks expect from the Portland run club?
Vivian: A diverse group of kind, open-minded, and thoughtful human beings that seek community in a shared love for the outdoors.
Iris: Lots of laughs, a place to unload, and beautiful trails!
Favorite post run snacks/meal?
Vivian: Pho after a hard workout or long run is THE BEST!
Iris: Favorite snack: a milky way dark
What made you want to start a TM run club in Portland?
Vivian: The pandemic's harsh but necessary spotlight on our country’s deep history of cultural and structural racism along with the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd deeply affected me. The run club was created out of my love for trail running, a longing to connect with other womxn of color, and a desire to build a community that enjoys learning from one another and appreciates each other's differences rather than feels divided by them.
Iris: I had the opportunity to join a Trail MIxed & Aspire Adventure Running weekend trail running retreat. The experience was incredibly inspiring and fulfilling. I realized I didn't have a similar space to trail run with other WoC in Portland, but with some intentionality I could, and thus PDX Trail Mixed run club was born!
About the Portland Run Club:
The PDX Run Club meets every other week switching between Forest Park and Mt. Tabor. If you're interested in joining their runs,
sign up for their email list here.