The Toyo University Ekiden Team led the way Saturday morning among 1,050 teams of 12, finishing the grueling overnight run of Hood to Coast with a time of 7 hours, 7 minutes and 51 seconds. They beat out groups from the Bowerman TC Men, Runlab and Pass the Turns for the iconic relay from Mount Hood’s Timberline Lodge to Seaside.
Seaside Chamber of Commerce volunteers served a steady flow of beer throughout the late morning, afternoon and into the night as teams of runners and walkers completed their fantastic journey.
Music from the Brian O’Dell band provided the afternoon soundtrack; the band Radical Revolution performed as the event continued into the evening.
Traffic at the beer garden was “constant all day long,” said Brian Owen, executive director of the chamber.
Reaction had been “all positive,” he said, with great communication with Hood to Coast management and event organizers. “We meet a couple of times throughout the year, keeping in touch, making sure everyone is on the same page,” Owen said.
Known as “The Mother of All Relays,” the course stretches 199 miles, with 12,600 participants and 3,600 volunteers. Runners or walkers alternate as team members share what can at times be a grueling physical challenge.
The relay began in 1982 with eight teams. Today the race series offers runs throughout the nation and the world, including Israel, Taiwan and China. The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure takes place in Portland on Sept. 16.
This year’s event, along with raising money for the Providence Cancer Center, brought a $25,000 check to the city of Seaside. In March, the Seaside City Council inked a five-year deal with relay officials to keep Seaside as the final destination of the team run. The contract starts at $25,000 this year and increases 5 percent a year through 2022, when Hood to Coast will pay the city more than $30,000.
Proceeds from the beer garden support the Seaside Chamber’s events throughout the year. Tip jars brought further bounty to the community — any funds raised from the event go to local food banks.
Mayor Jay Barber and his wife worked at the beer garden. “We’re helping the chamber pour beer and wine and welcome people from 50 states and 47 countries,” Barber said.