Archive for the ‘Beach Run History’ Category

Seaside Beach Run History

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

1966:    Ralph and Betty Davis, two local lifeguards, created the race.  It was an eight-mile run that started at the Turnaround (Broadway & Promenade), proceeded south to the Cove (Avenue U & Promenade), then returned north to Gearhart Beach (crossing the Necanicum River at low tide), and ended on the final leg from Gearhart Beach to the Turnaround (again crossing the Necanicum).  44 runners participated.                           

1970:    The event, which was held in August, was organized by the Seaside Chamber of Commerce, who organized the event with the assistance of the Seaside Boosters; Booster Byron Meek directed the run, which had grown to 189 participants.

1971:    Participation increased to 250 runners.

1974:    The race was shortened to 7 miles (course unknown).

1975:    The event, which had grown to 650 participants, was held on August 16 and included Claude Mulholland, who was the race’s oldest runner at age 85.

 1978:    Reflecting the increasing popularity of running in the 1970’s, the race featured 1200 runners, with an entry fee of $3 per participant.

 1979:    The event was held on August 11; Booster Chair Larry Person directed the event, which included 800 runners.

 1985:  The event was held in August, and was hosted by the Seaside Chamber of Commerce.  The route changed: though still 7 miles in length, it no longer crossed the Necanicum River.

 1987:    The event was hosted in August by the Sunset Empire Parks and Recreation District.

 1989:    The event, which consisted of 59 participants, was moved to July to eliminate a conflict with the Hood to Coast Race which was held in August.

 1990:    Participation once again began to grow, and featured 120 participants.

 1993:    The event was held on July 8th, with the Turnaround being used as the start and finish lines.  Short “dashes” were added to the event and were held on Broadway.

 1998:    Running races lost popularity in comparison to the growing trends in inline skating and skateboarding; participation was reportedly “very low” (number unknown).

 2001:    The Sunset Empire Parks and Recreation District reported that only “several dozen” runners showed an interest in the event; without the revenue from participants, the Parks and Recreation District announced that it couldn’t afford to continue hosting the event.

 2002:    Seaside Downtown Development Association began hosting the event, which was held in July.

 2003:    The event was held on July 19th, and included 149 runners.

 2004–2008:    The Seaside Downtown Development Association continued to host the race, which averaged “a few hundred” runners per year (exact figures unknown).

2009:    Non-profit organization Seaside Beach Run Inc. was established.  The entire race course was moved to the beach; Kids Dash became “Kids Sand Dash,” and a Treasure Hunt was added.  Participants included fifty 10K runners, seventy-two 5K runners, seventy-nine walkers, and sixty-four dashers.

2010:    A competitive (timed) 5K Promenade walk was added.

Information prior to 2009 is provided courtesy of the Seaside Downtown Development Association.  Records of this historic Seaside tradition are patchy (at best), so we are asking anyone who has further information, photos, or personal stories to share them with us.  Please submit your comments on our Seaside Beach Run Memories page, or if you prefer, you can e-mail us at or call (503) 738-8304 to contribute your Seaside Beach Run memories!