Hood to Coast hits area next Friday, Saturday
Runners, walkers, volunteers swell population to 25K
On Aug. 23, Columbia County will be alive once again, filled to with the throng of more than 20,000 for the running of the 2013 Providence Hood to Coast relay. The race begins early on the morning of Friday, Aug. 23, and residents of Columbia County can expect race-related traffic for much of Friday and Saturday, on both HWY 30 and HWY 47.
Despite the heavy flow of visitors, however, there havent been many problems with participants or spectators in recent years.
Weve had no problems [with Hood to Coast], its been very well run, said Lt. Norm Miller of the Scappoose Police Dept. Theyve always been pretty good about asking the other agencies what can we do better. I cant think of the last time that weve had a problem.
Miller said that the department might add one extra person to their patrols for the race days, but that was only as an extra precaution and that there hasnt been an incident in Scappoose that he can remember in over 10 years.
Up the road in St. Helens things will hopefully be a little calmer than a year ago, when a fire caused Les Schwab to burn to the ground. The relay was briefly rerouted, causing confusion among the runners and support vehicles, but race goers wont have to worry about a repeat this summer - the new store isnt scheduled to open until Sept. 6.
The race through the Scappoose and St. Helens areas will include three legs of the relay. Leg 16 runs from the weigh station on HWY 30 to Scappoose High School. Leg 17 runs to St. Helens High School and leg 17 finishes at the Columbia County Fairgrounds before continuing up HWY 30 toward Rainier.
This year marks the 32nd year of the race, which began in 1982 as a new challenge for race founder Bob Foote. In 1998, he started the PDX to Coast High School Challenge, which will see many local high school athletes participating, including teams from both area high schools. A detailed map of the race can be seen www.hoodtocoast.com