Race Preview: 2017 Gorgeous Relay

If you missed out on Hood to Coast or are having relay withdrawals, check out Gorgeous Relay running on Sunday, September 17th. Oregon’s original one-day relay, Gorgeous Relay starts just outside of Cascade Locks and finishes 60 miles west in Portland. Teams of 2-6 runners experience the historic Columbia River Highway, the Vista House at Crown Point and views of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers along this breathtaking course. It’s a day of gorgeous views finishing at Rogue Eastside Pub & Pilot Brewery.

There are so many reasons to love one-day relays. Logistically, it’s much easier to plan, no headaches, but all the fun. Dealing with fewer vans and fewer runners means less stress, allowing you to focus on the important stuff like running and friends.  No sleeping bags or lack of sleep drama, I’ve moved to the one-day relays and haven’t looked back. I could go on and on with the reasons I love one day relays, but you need to try one to experience it. Gorgeous Relay is a perfect opportunity;  the course is well marked, the race directors are local and it includes 60 gorgeous miles. Fall is the perfect time to run in the northwest with the summer heat behind us and foliage glowing. This event takes advantage of both.

2017 Gorgeous Relay Swag

From the Gorge, runners make their way towards Portland through Troutdale and along the Springwater Corridor, utilizing the Gresham-Fairview Trail and Springwater Trail along the way. The Mt. Hood Ski Patrol will be on bikes again this year making sure runners stay safe. Run it as an ultra, all 60 miles by yourself or grab a friend or two and organize a team. With 12 legs, you can divide it up however your team decides. I’m a little biased and lean towards the dynamic duo option. There’s nothing like crossing the finish line with your favorite running buddy, but if you’re more of a team player fill up the van and get more time to bond with the other five runners in between legs.  Regardless of what you decide, it will be a blast. The teams are super encouraging and you have the same camaraderie as the longer relays but don’t have to run through the night or try and sleep in a field or stuffy gym. Teams need to maintain an 11 minute mile pace and each team needs to provide a volunteer, but besides that this event is extremely accommodating. Waves start at 6:40am from Wyeth with a Gorge sunrise, which by itself makes this run worth it. Registration closes on September 16th, details below.

Just one of the reasons this event is named Gorgeous Relay

Keep in mind, just like other relays, your van provides runner support. There aren’t aid stations along the way- only volunteers directing and cheering runners. Also, make sure you invite your volunteer to the party at the finish line since they’re a part of the team and deserve to celebrate too. Everyone likes a post-race party. Food and beer will be available, so make sure to stash some cash if you want to indulge. Owen Wilson or Trevor Noah could talk me into a weekend relay, but otherwise I’m retired from the overnight stuff. With Gorgeous Relay, I just need open space on the calendar and I’m there. If you run for the swag, this won’t disappoint. They always have a fun medal medal and creative keepsake to commemorate the run. My collection includes a visor, trucker hat and buff. This year they’re giving out reversible beanies. Whatever your reason, just give Gorgeous Relay a run and you’ll be hooked too.

Gorgeous Relay

When: Sunday, September 17th, 2017

Where: Wyeth-Portland


  • Regular Team (5-6 runners) $570
  • Extra Credit (3-4 runners) $380
  • Dynamic Duo (2 runners) $190
  • Hard Core (solo) $95



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