PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Just weeks before the 35th annual Hood To Coast relay race, organizers changed the route on Leg 11, which goes through the Springwater Corridor.
Leg 11 — which last year was 4.51 miles — is now 6.64 miles as it goes around a problematic area of the Springwater Corridor in Portland.
Hood To Coast spokesperson Dan Floyd told KOIN 6 News they moved the route on Leg 11 between SE 82nd Avenue to SE 122nd Avenue “for the safety of participants, volunteers and spectators.”
“It’s just too dangerous,” he said. “It would be a poor idea for us to send runner down the trail when we are trying to showcase our state in the best possible way.”
Runners from dozens of countries and every state will be participating in the nearly 200 mile relay.
Sandra McDonough, head of the Portland Business Alliance, is critical of the way the city has been handling the homeless problem.
“I don’t know how there’s a possibility that folks aren’t going to see that we have a significant homeless problem here and that we need safer places,” McDonough said. “Because it’s pervasive in virtually ever neighborhood the city.”This is the Leg 11 route in 2015:
This is the Leg 11 route in 2016:
A planned sweep of the homeless campers along the Springwater Corridor was pushed back until September 1.
The Hood To Coast relay race takes place on August 26-27. More than 20,000 runners from 37 countries are expected, Floyd said.