COOS BAY — Participants in Saturday’s unofficial COVID-Style Prefontaine Memorial Run are asked to follow sidewalks along the entire route, since it will be open to traffic.
That includes using crosswalks for all road crossings, including through the downtown area from the traditional start at Fourth Street and Anderson Avenue. Runners should use the crosswalk with the flashing light near the top of Central Avenue to safely cross that busy portion of the street both on the way out and the way back during the run, which follows the traditional course out Ocean Boulevard. There are sidewalks available for nearly the entire course, which finishes as usual on the track at Marshfield High School.
The track will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for runners who participate in the event. Runners can check in with volunteers any time between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the corner of Fourth and Anderson and will be required to fill out a waiver form, pass a temperature test (anyone with a temperature above 100.4 will be asked to return home) and get a stamp on their hand that will allow them access to the track at the end of the run. They will need to have face masks with them when checking in and maintain social distancing of 6 feet. There is no participation fee.
Volunteers will keep a list of participants for potential contact tracing.
Officials hope the wide range of times available for people to participate in the run will naturally lead to a lack of large groups and proper social distancing. Runners are encouraged to support each other on the course, but won’t be allowed to gather in the stadium after they finish, instead being asked to leave through the same gate they enter.
And runners are reminded there are no traditional elements of support for the run — no police escort, medical personnel, porta-potties or water stations along with the road being open to traffic.
“Anyone who participates assumes the risk of road running or walking,” officials said. “Anyone who participates must follow the rules of the road and use the sidewalks (not bike lanes) and crosswalks along the course.
“Your life is worth the few minutes it takes for crossing a cross walk. Besides, who are we kidding, nothing has been the same in our community since March — don’t anticipate the course to be 100 percent the same either.”
Saturday would have marked the 41st edition of the Prefontaine Memorial Run. Officials hope to be able to return to normal next year in the run that traditionally draws more than 1,000 runners and walkers, including high school teams from all over Western Oregon.
The race was officially canceled in May, but members of the South Coast Running Club and race coordinators wanted to encourage runners who wanted to take part to run the course Saturday anyway.
For more on the history of the run, as well as past results, visit www.prefontainerun.com.