Hood-to-Coast racers sprint Springwater Trail

From Gresham, through the Centennial, Powellhurst-Gilbert and Lents neighborhoods, see runners – from all across the nation – get a glimpse of East Portland as they jog on by …

“Sublime Striders” runner Ed Miller hands off his official team wristband to Robert Blackman, at the Ardenwald-Johnson Creek transfer station.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Thanks to the three consecutive bridges connecting Oaks Bottom to the eastern portion of the Springwater Corridor Trail across S.E. McLoughlin Boulevard and the Union Pacific railroad tracks at Ochoco Street, this elevated route through Portland has become a favorite of what the organizers call “The mother of all relays” – the annual Hood to Coast Relay Race.

Starting out in the alpine air of Timberline Lodge, 12,000 runners ran, jogged, and sprinted 197 miles toward the finish line at Seaside, Oregon.

Runners say they appreciate the three bridges on the Springwater Corridor Trail – so they don’t have to risk running on the Tacoma Street bridge, or crossing McLoughlin at the Ochoco Street light.

The teams of runners came got on the trail in Gresham, ran through outer East Portland, and changed runners in the Ardenwald-Johnson Creek Neighborhood, before heading through Sellwood, on August 28 – handing off a wrist strap to teammates, as they did on other legs of the race, with the relay points spaced about every five miles apart.

In addition to earning bragging rights if they win – or even finish – the participants by running raised $361,929 for the American Cancer Society this year.

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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