12-07-2016  2:13 pm      •     

BEAVERTON, ORE. – August 11th, 2016 – The 2016 Providence Hood and Portland To Coast Relays presented by the Oregon Lottery, and the Portland To Coast High School Challenge presented by Les Schwab Tires, will kick-off August 26th at Government Camp and in Southeast Portland. Once again, the events will welcome participants from all over the world, the United States, and the northwest. The West Coast Steppers will be walking on behalf of The Skanner, a website and newspaper established in 1975 in Portland, OR.    

The West Coast Steppers are participating to help raise awareness for health and wellness in the African American community. “We are running to be part of a team with a shared goal of displaying strength, passion, and endurance,” said Team Co-Captain Marjorie Phillips. “We train together, we support each other, and we believe in the values of strength in ourselves, family, community, and our team.”

The Skanner is a website and newspaper published in Portland, OR. and Seattle, WA. Established in 1975, The Skanner News Group has advanced the cause of the Black Press in the northwest. The Skanner has received a dozens of local, regional, and national awards, and Publisher Bernie Foster is a past two-term President of the West Coast Black Publishers Association as well as being a member of the National Newspapers Publishers Association.

The West Coast Steppers are comprised of seven members from Portland and five from outside the state of Oregon, including California, Illinois, Texas, and Washington. The team participated in the epic weather conditions of 2015, which helped them build team unity. “The best moment in the race was walking across the finish line together as a team,” said Team Co-Captain Clarence Stone.

The Hood To Coast Relay remains the most popular relay race in the world with nearly 20,000 runners and walkers participating in three events; Hood To Coast Relay, Portland To Coast Walk Relay, and Portland To Coast High School Challenge. The Hood To Coast Relay waiting list reaches over 40,000 potential participants annually. In 2016, the three events will include runners and walkers from all 50 U.S. states and 37 countries. The popularity of the events led to the expansion of Hood To Coast to China under franchisee, and former NBA All-Star, Yao Ming. Yao’s company, Starz Sports, will launch the first Hood To Coast China event in May of 2017.

Since 2014, the Providence Cancer Center has been the primary beneficiary of Hood and Portland To Coast fundraising revenue. In those two years, Hood and Portland To Coast participants and volunteers have raised nearly $1.1 million. 100 percent of those funds have been used locally in Oregon to support cancer research, treatment, and support services.

The 2016 Hood to Coast and Portland to Coast Relays will be held from August 26th to 27th. The race stretches from Timberline Lodge to Seaside, ORE., where over 70,000 people will attend the finish line party. 

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