Relays have become a bit of a “thing” in more recent years, but with the very real threat of Covid around, the smaller races have a bit more appeal to many than they used to. One of my favorite relays, even before Covid, has always been the Three Capes Marathon Relay. If you’ve never done this one, you really should. It’s a beautiful event and you won’t have to deal with the crowds and van headaches that you’d get at other relay races. Even better, it’s only a one day event and a full marathon distance, so you can run this as a 5 person team, a 2 person team, or even solo and you’ll get to sleep in your own bed at the end of the day.
This relay is named after the Three Capes Scenic Loop, which is a beautiful stretch of the Pacific NW. The race starts at Cape Meares, passes Cape Lookout, and finishes at Cape Kiwanda. I’ve run all of the race course in one way or another, as it’s easy to turn into a long training run before an April marathon. I’ve shared a few legs with teammates, and though it’s a challenging course, it’s a really delightful coastal run. Runners and walkers will be treated to six State Parks, two National Wildlife Refuges, and lots of County Parks. There are also stunning views of the Tillamook Bay, Netarts Bay, and of course the Pacific Ocean. There is nearly 2,400 feet of elevation on the course but that’s what you’d expect for those views.
There are three start times for this race, which is on Saturday, February 26th, 2022 this year. The 7:30AM start is for walkers only, whether you’re doing it solo or on a team. The runners who prefer an early start will have their chance at 8:00AM and this will help to alleviate any congestion at the exchange points. Finally, there will be a 9:00AM start time, which is the time that the majority of the solo runners and teams begin. The most competitive runners are encouraged to start at 9:00AM.
The cost for the Three Capes relay is $249 for a 5 person team, (3-4 people can also participate as a 5 person team if they wish,) $129 for a 2 person partner team, and only $79 for a solo marathoner. This is a great value for a full 26.2 mile race!! Also, this event benefits the Ultimook non-profit, which helps local cross country and track students with three of their programs: The Tillamook Distance Project, Ultimook Running Camp, and the Ultimook Track Club.
The relay begins at the intersection of Bayocean Road NW and Bayshore Drive, which is adjacent to Cape Meares Lake. Participants should park at Tillamook High School and shuttle together with their team in one vehicle to the start, which will have very limited parking. Solo runners can arrange for a shuttle from Pacific City back to the start if they sign up for it. The race finishes at Web County Park at Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City. Check out the website for the description of the exchanges and legs of the race. There will be no drive-through traffic on the first leg, as there’s a road closure, but there will be a detour for vehicles to follow to the first exchange.
Please note that roads will not be closed for the race, so all traffic should be observed and all participants should proceed with caution. Reflective gear and bright shirts are highly encouraged. There will be water and Gatorade available at all of the leg exchanges and there will be an aid station at the finish line. There will be officials at each exchange if you need one.
The finishing runner will need to wear the race bib with the timing chip in it, and that bib will be specially marked. Individual results won’t be kept, but the finish times for teams will be recorded.
Team captains can pick up race packets before the race from 7:00-8:30AM near the start, but no new registrations will be accepted at that time.
All participants will get a custom Three Capes Relay Medal. Register your team before February 10th to guarantee your t-shirt. In other words, get on it!!
When: February 26th, 2022
Where: Bayocean Rd NW and Bayshore Drive adjacent to Cape Meares Lake. (Shuttle with your team from Tillamook High School to the start.)
Cost: $249 per 5 person team, $129 per 2 person team, $79 per solo marathoner.