Columbia Gorge Marathon keeps moving into third year

October 19, 2011

Columbia Gorge Marathon organizer Leslie Cogswell is going through some of the last-minute preparations. That includes entering in a batch of 87 last-minute registrations for this Sunday's race.

"It's amazing to me," she said, wondering how the entrants were going to prepare for a marathon in a week.

That's just the kind of pull the Gorge has in the fall months.

The marathon returns for its third year, and is again expected to draw around 1,000 participants between the full marathon, half-marathon and two-person team half-marathon.

Those last-minute registrations also picked the perfect year to make late plans to run a marathon.

The start of the marathon has been moved for the third time. After starting near the Event Site in its inaugural year, it moved to the Hood River marina last year. This year the start will be at the Mark Hatfield trailhead, which not only avoids any potential traffic hang-ups at the exit 64 interchange, but also saves runners an immediate climb to the Hatfield trail.

Runners will be bused from the finish area at the marina green up to the trailhead; a logistical challenge Cogswell said the marathon is ready to undertake this year.

"We just were not ready to undertake that logistically the first couple of years," she said.

Runners will be descending on Hood River from 39 states, as well as from Canada, Ireland and Sweden.

While adults are running the 26.2 miles (or 13.1 for those doing the half), children will be running 1.2 miles at the marina to complete a cumulative marathon they have been running over the course of the school year.

They will get prize packs from Providence and Gorge Spine as well as their own cheerleading squad at the finish line.

Last year the kids' marathon went off during a torrential rainstorm that hammered the marathon before giving way to blue skies.

"The weather looks like it's going to be better than last year," Cogswell said. "It can't be much worse than it was during that last year."

Come rain or shine, the runners will again be greeted at the finish with soup, bread, tacos and space blankets.

"It's incredible the support we get locally," Cogswell said. "More and more people are finding out about it."

The marathon starts at 9 a.m. Sunday morning from the Hatfield trailhead, sending runners to Mayer State Park before looping them back around to finish at the Hood River marina.

The kids' marathon will be at 9:45 a.m. at the marina.

Buses will begin to shuttle runners to the start at 7 a.m.

Cogswell said the marathon could still use a few more volunteers for Saturday night packet sign-up at Shortt Supply in downtown Hood River. Runners who feel the urge to give the marathon a go can still sign up for the full, half or two-person team at the packet pickup.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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