Bernard Seeger sets course record

Although he usually doesn’t compete in races, Bernard Seeger has been running since he was 6 years old. But he made an exception when he entered — and won — the inaugural Mt. Hood Meadows Challenge on Aug. 16. Seeger, finance director for the city of Gresham, covered the 1.2-mile uphill course in 10:49.

The women’s division winner was Rachel Lynn, with a time of 13:16. Photo Credit: CONTRIBUTED: BERNARD SEEGER - City finance director Bernard Seeger recently won Mt. Hood Meadows Uphill Challenge.By being the first winners, they set the course record.

Seeger said the race began at the parking lot of the ski resort and climbed 621 vertical feet along the way. That’s a steep rise, Seeger said, and it started at 5,500 feet.

“It’s not a lot of distance, but for that much elevation, it’s a lung burner,” he said. “I typically run at about 200 feet (elevation) in the Gorge, and the thin air was noticeable.”

But Seeger was pleased with his performance, and especially with the $250 in prize money.

“It was a heck of a start to my weekend,” he said.

The course ended at the Stadium chair lift and included categories for all ages.

Seeger said he doesn’t enter many races because he’s very competitive and risks injuring himself by pushing too hard.

“But I love to run in the mountains, and when this popped up I said I have to do that,” he said.

People who run should be aware of the possibility of self-injury, especially to their knees, Seeger said. He advises people to run every other day instead of every day, to reduce injury to their muscles and joints.

“I tell people to run every other day and give their knees a rest,” he said, “People who run six miles a day, 30 miles a week, their knees are shot when they’re 50 years old.”

Seeger, 45, said running downhill is much harder on the knees than running uphill, and that he usually pushes his bike when he runs up the hills near his home in Cascade Locks and then “flies down” when he gets to the top.

The ride down after the challenge race was by chair lift, and Seeger said and he’ll definitely enter again next year.

“I have to defend my world’s record,” he joked. “And put some fear in them when I show up.”

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