by Justin Aufdermauer
As you plant one foot confidently in front of the other, the ocean breeze sends a refreshing gust of wind that cools your face. A crowd of people have gathered to watch as you cross the finish line. Your eyes linger a moment on the time, but what you’re even more eager for is that filling cup of Schooner clam chowder and cold Pelican brew calling your name.
If you’ve participating in the Tillamook Bay Run before, you know this feeling of satisfying accomplishment for completing one of the most unique trail runs in the state. And if you’ve yet to ever join us, maybe it’s time to mark this one off your bucket list.
The Tillamook Bay Run returns this year on Aug. 12. Registration is currently open at www.bayrun.org. Those who pre-register will receive a complimentary t shirt. You are also welcome to register the day of, however it is likely you won’t receive a runners shirt.
Each year we look at ways to improve the Bay Run, but one thing that has remained consistent is the natural beauty – and challenge – of the trail. Both the 5k and 10k begin on the wet, sandy beaches north of Cape Meares. Runners advance for several kilometers beside the ocean, before being directed inland and cutting through the natural foliage of Bayocean to the bayside of the trail. Runners and walkers will travel over wet sand, dry sand, hop over tree roots and around shrubs, and finally finish on gravel. The trail goes up and down several hills and often narrows to a single lane.
As you may know, Bayocean was once a resort-style dwelling with several homes and large structures like a natatorium, hotels, a movie theater, bowling alley and much more.. However, due to unfortunate geological issues, the integrity of the spit was compromised and buildings were washed away with the erosion. The residents of Bayocean left long before the last building fell into the sea, and much of what remained was looted. Although much of the land is still privately owned, the County oversees itsprimary use as a natural recreation area. The Tillamook Bay Run is a unique opportunity to explore this area that was once considered the Atlantic City of the West.
And of course, at the end of your endeavor, that piping hot bowl of clam chowder courtesy of the Schooner Restaurant in Netarts and cold Pelican Brewing microbrew (21+) will be waiting you!
Scovel Racing will be coordinating and tracking the results of the race again this year. Prizes are handed out by age divisions and include cash, medals and gift baskets courtesy of local businesses.
The race begins at 10 a.m. To register before the race or to learn more, visit www.bayrun.org.