One race on my running bucket list, is unfortunately going to remain there for another year. The Great Columbia Crossing in Astoria was one that I was signed up for in 2016, but was “winded out” by a freak coastal storm. Personally, that postponement was actually a blessing in disguise, as my wife went into labor that weekend, but also means that I will be unable again this year due to a birthday party. However, it is expected that 3000+ other runners will tackle this unique event. The “low point” of registrants was 572 back in 1985, to now over 3000 every year since 2009.
For those of you not in the know, you have probably at least heard of the Astoria-Megler bridge that connects Oregon and Washington. This bridge is closed to pedestrian traffic 364 days per year and only opens up for this race! The course has runners beginning in Washington at the Dismal Nitch Rest Area (a shuttle will take runners from the Port of Astoria in Oregon or the Port of Chinook in Washington), and spanning the bridge to finish at the Port of Astoria. Add in the fact that this is the 51st anniversary of the bridge, and it’s certainly a pretty special occasion.
No animals are allowed, but collapsible strollers (due to space constraints on the shuttle) are allowed. Due to the need to open traffic back up at 11am, there is a 2-hour time limit and you runners may have to be picked up if they haven’t crossed in time.
Following the event, stick around the local area and spend your “clam bucks” at local participating businesses. Every participant will receive 5 with their entry and they are each worth $1 at a variety of museums, shops, and restaurants and breweries (say hello to a free pint at Astoria Brewing Company, Rogue Ales Public House, or the Wet Dog Cafe)! They are actually available to use for a full week (October 12th-18th), so if you plan to head over early and do early packet pick-up you can get your clam shopping done early! The event is a fundraiser for the Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce.