Hood to Coast Relay promoter should help bear costs of Seaside's disruptionsHas the Hood to Coast Relay become too much of a good thing? Or too much of a bad thing?

The annual August run from Timberline Lodge to Seaside captures the imagination of the running world. The arrival of runners and their teams brings money to Clatsop County motels and restaurants. But there is also widespread disruption as runners move through the county and especially through Seaside.

Seaside city councillors have asked the race's organizer, Robert Foote Jr. to make a donation to their city in compensation for disruption and inconvenience. Foote's evasions of that request are not convincing.

Coastal communities are beginning to recognize the costs of popularity and the concept of diminishing returns. Long Beach, Wash., wisely moved its annual Rod Run away from the Labor Day weekend because the combination pushed the county's infrastructure to the breaking point.

Foote told Seaside leaders that if they don't want the Hood to Coast in their community, he would have it finish in Long Beach. That begs a few questions. Where would the race cross the Columbia River? In Longview? In Astoria?

As we edge toward the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial, the summer traffic in Clatsop and Pacific counties will increase considerably. In that context, the Hood to Coast Relay will become even more problematic. And Mr. Foote's unwillingness to help pay the social costs of his enterprise will become a very bad joke.

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