If the sweaty, gasping runner making his way across Newport’s Yaquina Bay Bridge on Saturday, July 18, declines your offer of a bottle of water, don’t be insulted — he’s probably just holding out for something a little stronger.
The 5th Annual Barrel to Keg Relay Race to End Poverty will see hundreds of runners make their way from the Valley to the coast, crossing the finish line right outside the Rogue Ales Brewery in South Beach.
Presented by the Harris Bridge Vineyard in Philomath (the Barrel) and Rogue (the Keg), the race is a benefit for Community Services Consortium to raise money to help end poverty in Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties.
The race starts in Philomath at the Harris Bridge Vineyard, winds through the beautiful backcountry of the Oregon Coast Range, crosses the scenic Yaquina Bay Bridge and ends at the brewery with food, festivities and live music at the Finish Line Party.
Among this year’s participants is returning runner Jeff Jones, who is flying in from Georgia to make his first solo, 69-mile run of the course.
“First you run Barrel to Keg in a 6-person team,” he said, “and then you want more time on the road, so you run a 4-person team, then you run a 2-person, and finally, you just have to do the whole shebang.”
“Scenery and variety is second to none on Barrel to Keg,” he added. “You want time in your trail shoes — done deal; you want time on the road, say when. You start hot in the valley and finish cool on the coast — really, what more could you ask for?”
Special honors will be on offer for the most creative team names, costumes and best-dressed vehicles, as well as those that raise the most sponsorship money.
Runners and walkers can form teams of one to seven people and can register online at www.barreltokeg.com.