‘Most scenic marathon in the country’ runs Oct. 27

Columbia Gorge Marathon and Half Marathon start and finish in Hood River

Labeled the most scenic marathon in the country, the annual Columbia Gorge Marathon and Half Marathon will take place Oct. 27, starting and finishing at the Port of Hood River’s Marina Park.

The marathon start time is 9 a.m. with the half marathon start time slated for 9:30 a.m. The course starts with a climb to the Historic Columbia River Highway; which is where much of the run takes place. The 13.1-mile half-marathon turns around just past the Twin Tunnels trail in Mosier, while full 26.2-mile marathon runners continue through Mosier to the Rowena Crest before turning around.

Last year more than 95 percent of the participants were from outside the Gorge region, with the race’s 1,100 entrants hailing from 36 states and five countries. The continuing growth is something race organizer and owner Chad Sperry, of Breakaway Promotions, is excited about.

“The community is great at supporting this event,” Sperry said. “The marathon and half marathon are a major event for our area. No other current sporting event draws this number of participants that stay, eat out and spend money, especially in an off-season time for the area.”

Local high school sports teams volunteer to staff the aid stations and other race event tasks as fundraisers for their teams.

“We grant funds directly to their related sports program at the high schools for their community service in the marathon event,” Sperry added. “This acts as a pretty good fundraiser for those programs.”

A special dog-friendly half-marathon has been incorporated into the event this year, which will run as the last wave of runners. A free kids marathon (1.2-mile fun run) is also part of the activities, with a 4 p.m. start time.

n Registration for the event is open online at columbiagorgemarathon.com. See the same website for additional event details.

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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 www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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