Thousands of 'Hood to Coast Relay' runners pass through Southeast
The 40th annual "Providence Hood to Coast Relay", known informally as the "Mother of All Relay Races", brought thousands of runners through Inner Southeast Portland all afternoon and late into the evening on Friday, August 26, on their 199-mile journey on foot to Seaside.
Drawing participants from over 40 countries and all 50 states, a thousand teams of runners, with eight to twelve members each, took turns running — with their remaining teammates riding in vans or SUVs from one "transfer point" to another.
Vast numbers pf runners came down the Springwater Corridor Trail beside the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood from Gresham toward the hand-off area in Inner Southeast — where the "baton" transfers from one teammate to the next — "Transfer Point #11", near the complex intersection of S.E. Harney Street, Johnson Creek Boulevard, and 45th Avenue.
Motorists caught unaware encountered a traffic jam at the intersection. Most drivers were patient as "street monitors" stopped traffic to allow runners to cross the street.
From there, fresh team members headed west on the trail beside Tideman-Johnson Park, crossed S. E. McLoughlin Boulevard on the pedestrian bridge near Ochoco Street, and continued into Sellwood, before turning north past Oaks Amusement Park toward their next transfer point at OMSI — the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.
"I'm too exhausted to talk!" was the gasped comment we most often heard from runners coming to that exchange point to hand off their team's official baton — actually, a singular wrist-slap bracelet — to a teammate.
Sometime in the night the last of the runners passed through Inner Southeast, and by early the next morning, there were was no sign that thousands of runners had come through the area. Even the portable toilets had been removed.
If you're interested in participating, think about getting into the "sign up lottery" for the 41th Anniversary of Hood to Coast on August 25, 2023. For the history of the race, and information on next year, go online right here — tinyurl.com/y5d4cum6
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