Hot dusty runners never felt so relieved when they hit the cool air of the coast on the annual Barrel to Keg 70 mile relay from Philomath to Newport on Saturday.
The team relay event started at Harris Bridge Winery in Philomath (Barrel) and wrapped up many hours later at Rogue Ales Brewery (Keg) at the South Beach Marina in Newport.
The race is an annual fundraiser for the Community Service Consortium, a non-profit agency that helps financially stressed individuals and families in Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties with job search, financial assistance, help with utilities and housing.
This year’s race wound its way around rivers, mountains and along long dusty backroads that required runners to have no small amount of water and sunscreen to see them through, all 633 of them. There were 101 running teams and 8 walking teams. Two runners ran the full 70 miles…the winner of the two was Seth Paredes who ran it in 14 hours, 44 minutes and 4 seconds, for an average of 12 minute 49 second miles.
The winning team was the same one for the past four years, “We got the runs.” The winners among the mixed teams was “The Mixed Six.” For coming in first “We got the runs” won a free entry into next year’s Barrel to Keg Relay.
The Community Services Consortium wants to point out that such an event could not be possible without an army of 150 volunteers. To help keep the runners on time and on course, a small army of ham radio operators, coordinated by local attorney Doug Holbrook, kept track of the participants and made sure they all stayed healthy and safe since much of the course was well out of cell phone range. So any calls for medical assistance or any emergency, would be handled quickly and accurately. Over six hundred runners is a lot to keep track of.
Other volunteering organizations and businesses included Newport Police, Harris Bridge Winery, Rogue Ales Brewing, Oregon Coast Event Rentals, Mainstream Music, Health Haven Vitamins and those ever so necessary Vertebrata Chiropractic massage masters at the end for an army of tired runners.
Other volunteering businesses included La Quinta Inn and Suites, Bespoken Coffee Roasters (for the pause that motivates), Ripleys Believe It or Not, barre3 Corvallis, Central Willamette Community Credit Union, Odwalla Water, The Corvallis Clinic, Mountain Rose Herbs and batting at “clean up” was Thompson Sanitary Services.
And as they say, “We’ll see y’all next year when we do it all over again for the community.”