They came, they ran, and they rode around in van.
Hundreds of runners took part in the 15th outing of the Cascade Lakes Relay Friday and Saturday.
Teams started at Diamond Lake and weaved their way to Bend.
The annual event takes runners through some Central Oregon’s most beautiful scenery.
A scenic landscape that’s prone to fire.
“We could not be happier that we’ve got clear skies and no smoke this year,” said Cascade Relays co-owner Carrie Douglass.
Despite the nice August weather, the organizers of the event announced a date change for next year in an attempt to avoid the smoke and heat.
“We just can’t risk it anymore. This is a big event to prepare for. The teams start a year out they’ve got to be reserving vans, lodging, and getting 12 people to participate and they can’t do that wondering if the event is going to happen because of fire,” added Douglass.
Last summer’s Bootleg Fire caused last minute course changes to the multi-leg, multi-day relay race.
“I like that it’s early in the summer so the smoke we won’t have to deal with that,” said runner Drew Larabee.
The runner from Beaverton had plopped down in the shade of a brewery’s van full of beer after finishing the run.
“We did have a heat wave last June so I guess there’s a possibility of heat too, but overall I think it’s a good decision,” added Larabee of team ’Slow Children at Play’.
This year runners got lucky with both the temperature and air quality.
“I’m so glad it worked out this time, but I think it’s a really really smart move to move it to June” said Abby Dalke team captain the ‘Cascade Cakes’.
The 2023 Cascade Lakes Relay will take place June 23-24.