All over Portland, runners with impressive speed and stamina—serious athletes—have been training to run a treacherous 5k race…in a gigantic pile of mud.

The Dirdy Birdy is one of the silliest, wildest and messiest races in all of Oregon. Held at Portland International Raceway's already mucky motocross course—created with "100 percent certified organic Oregon mud"—the second annual Dirdy Birdy comes complete with a full-sized Slip 'n Slide, runner-swallowing mud pits and a water-balloon stand for spectators to launch distractions at their racing friends. And if you think you'll still have energy after all that, bring an extra pair of clothes to stick around for a beer garden, family activities (there's even a one-mile version of the race for the kiddies) and dancing to DJ tunes. If you missed Halloween, race organizer Oregon Active, a consortium of local adventure-sports lovers that also mounts everything from bungee jumps to backcountry treks for at-risk and disadvantaged kids, gives out prizes for the most creative ensembles. (Last year's race was attended by cowboys, pirates and Olympic swimmers, to name a few.) A portion of entry proceeds go to local charities.

Oregon Active's Devin Kelly, one of Dirdy Birdy's founders, says he's hoping for 500 participants this year compared with last year's 350. "We wanted to create a unique running event that was built specifically around the adventuresome spirit, with enough craziness to be considered a true Oregonian event," he says. Is there anything more Oregonian than dirt, beer and running? Didn't think so.

GET DIRDY: Portland’s second annual Dirdy Birdy race takes place Saturday, Nov. 14, at the motocross track at Portland International Raceway, 1940 N Victory Blvd. Registration begins at 10:30 am, race starts at noon. Preregister online for $25, or $30 the day of the race. More info at



Everyone knows John Darnielle can spin tales of broken relationships and "The Best Ever Death Metal Band From Denton." But 12 songs named after verses from the Bible? He's good for that, too.

Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell St., 284-8686. 8 pm. $20. All ages.

The Chinese choreographer Shen Wei's hypnotic, fascinating new work is performed at one point on a striking giant mandala made of shredded paper. Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, 248-4335. 7:30 pm. $20-$50. Visit or



Def Poetry Jam meets

American Idol


Double Dare

Opium Magazine’s

challenges locals to see who can, um, read the best.

Blue Monk, 3341 SE Belmont St., 595-0575. 8:30 pm. $10 door, $8 advance.



Between a jaw-dropping drunken boxing scene and an extended climactic showdown pitting Tony Jaa against hundreds of foes, the sequel does not disappoint.

Cinema 21, 616 NW 21st Avenue, 223-4515. 9 pm. $5-$8.



The city's fabulous, fourth annual recycled fashion show returns with Sam Adams, junk orchestra "Junkquestra," and a walk down the Green Carpet.

Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St., 225-0047. 8 pm. $17 advance, $20 door. Info at

Bruce Orr, director of kid-centric Mudeye Puppet Company, debuts an adult show about insomnia, anxiety and demons, featuring a nightmarish landscape made from reused materials. Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th Ave., 248-1030. 7 pm. $12.



Do you like your hip-hop with a classically laid-back West Coast flow and party-conscious beats? Pigeon John's in town and not to be missed.

Backspace, 115 NW 5th Ave., 248-2900. 9 pm. $10. All ages.


Call it glo-fi or chillwave, Neon Indian's Psychic Chasms is the year's best debut, no matter what you call indie's hippest new genre. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., 288-3895. 9 pm. $10. 21+.