One Day, One Van, One Gorgeous Relay Runs September 20th

As everyone is getting ready for Hood to Coast, I’m somewhat relieved I won’t be running this iconic northwest relay. It might be that I’m too old to deal with the crowds and the lack of sleep or maybe it’s just that I’ve done it enough times and am ready to move on, either way my next relay is the Gorgeous Relay. I love this relay because it takes a fraction of the planning that goes into a weekend relay, I run it with one girlfriend so we don’t have to squish into a smelly van and, best of all, I get to sleep in my own bed after I run my legs. One day relays are perfect for those of us not quite ready to retire from the relay scene, but can’t quite commit to a weekend extravaganza.

The Gorgeous Relay starts just outside of Cascade Locks and includes 12 legs and 60 miles of running adventure. Sunday, September 20th teams will make their way from the Gorge to Portland with some breathtaking views and one-of-a-kind legs. Teams have an option to run this event with up to 6 runners and there’s even a solo category, for the hardcore runner looking for a serious challenge.  Like most relays, start times are based on anticipated running times and will begin the first wave at 7am. With 5 waves taking off every 20 minutes, there will be a steady stream of runners along the course at all times.

Taking advantage of our gorgeous area, the course includes the Historic Columbia River Highway, several waterfalls, creeks and forests and a taste of the Columbia River Gorge. With the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, Vista House at Crown Point and rural communities along the way, there’s always something to look at as runners make their way to the Springwater Corridor. Teammates finish in at Base Camp Brewery in Portland and will enjoy a post-race celebration with some beer (for the over 21 crowd) and happy runners putting their feet up. All finishers will receive a Gorgeous Relay trucker hat, fun medal and commemorative pint glass. Bring cash if you want to grab a t-shirt ($20) or some food at a food cart, you’ll find both at the finish line.

All participants must be 18 or older and ideally maintain a 10:30 pace or faster.  As with most relays, teams are required to find one volunteer to help for a shift during the day. Registration is available through Saturday, September 19th at noon on their website, if spots are still available.Teams of 5-6 runners cost $570, teams of 3-4 runners cost $380, teams of 2 cost $180 and the ultra is $95. I’m a little biased since I’ve run this race from the start, but Gorgeous Relay is the perfect relay to test the one day experience. It’s well organized, has some unbelievable views and is a blast for everyone. Call up some friends, and run a lot or a little, the choice is yours. You don’t have the stress of organizing two vans, finding a hotel at the finish line or any of the other headaches that come along with weekend relays. You just get to enjoy the 60 mile experience and hit your pillow when it’s done. Their simple tagline says it all: one day, one van, one gorgeous relay.

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