This year’s Hood to Coast Relay is the latest casualty of the coronavirus pandemic.
Organizers announced the cancellation Wednesday morning, citing health and safety and Gov. Kate Brown's statewide restrictions on large gatherings through September.
Dan Floyd, the event's chief operating officer, said state Sen. Betsy Johnson and Seaside Mayor Jay Barber “supported our decision with concern that bringing a large-scale event to Clatsop and Columbia counties may put the public’s health at risk.”
The relay takes place in late August. Last year’s relay brought 19,000 runners and walkers, and another 3,000 volunteers. Organizers estimated between 40,000 and 60,000 participants, spectators, family and friends.
The event delivered more than $900,000 to the Providence Cancer Institute.
“We want to work with the communities that host Hood to Coast to produce a fun, healthy and safe event,” Floyd said. “We appreciated the local feedback that we received, and are confident that the decision we made was best for the participants and host communities. We’ll be back strong in 2021.”
The roughly 200-mile relay race begins at Timberline Lodge and concludes at the Seaside beach. Teams filter into town from early morning until night during the second day of the race. Vendors, music and trophy presentations follow.
In March 2018, Seaside and Hood to Coast inked a new contract, starting at $25,000 and increasing 5% a year through 2022, when Hood to Coast will pay the city more than $30,000.
The race, in its 39th year, is among many local events canceled because of the pandemic, including Seaside's Fourth of July fireworks show.
Joshua Heineman, Seaside’s director of tourism marketing, called the cancellation another in a remarkable string of economic hits to Seaside due to COVID-19.
“Starting with Pouring at the Coast in March and now extending at least through September, 2020 is shaping up to be the big pause — truly a lost year for this community,” he said.