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Hood-to-Coast Relay Saturday, August 25, 2007

A runner from team 803 heads down the Springwater Trail Aug. 24 near SW 7th St. in Gresham on leg 10 of the 2007 Hood-to-Coast Relay. Thousands of runners from across the country descend on northwestern Oregon every August to make the 197-mile trek from Government Camp to Seaside.

Every year, teams of 12 runners converge on Government Camp, Ore., for the start of the Hood-to-Coast Relay Race.

To give you some idea of the popularity of the event, organizers started accepting entries for this year's race on Oct. 17, 2006. They stopped when they reached their 1000-team limit on ... Oct. 17, 2006.

That doesn't count the 400 teams entered in the Portland-to-Coast walk, nor the 50 High School Challenge teams entered in the event. Add to that the volunteer race officials and other support teams and you're looking at a very large event.

The running teams leave Government Camp in waves of 20 starting at 8 o'clock Friday morning. It takes 12 hours to get all of them off the start line. They reach the finish line in Seaside sometime on Saturday for what is described as "the biggest beach party on the west coast."

The logistics of the race can be challenging, especially for out-of-town teams. Race official Peter Lowry (right) tries to help a member of a team from Italy contact his team after the runner arrived at checkpoint 9 and his team wasn't there. The confusion cost the team more than six minutes.

Look for more coverage of the race in today's edition of The Outlook.