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Joe Kollas Run blends local colors

Photo by Adam Lapierre

A Local stampede kicked off the runners’ division of the 2005 Joe Kollas Memorial Run. The 33rd annual run brought together runners of all colors for the 7.4 mile Fourth of July celebration.

By ADAM LAPIERRE

News staff writer

July 6, 2005

The Joe Kollas Memorial Run brought runners and walkers to the Odell fire station Monday morning for an annual Fourth of July kick-off dash into Hood River.

Hitting the shade of Jackson Park first were: For the men, last year's one-two runners Ahrlin and Oscar Bauman and for the women, sisters Mandy and Heather Gustafson. Complete, official results and times will be published in the next issue of the Hood River News.

Runners gathered Tuesday morning at Mid-Valley Elementary School to register for the 33rd annual run. Under beautiful sunny skies, participants congregated for the only event in the county that could bring together such a dynamic group of Hood River locals.

Hood River Valley High School teacher Bob Kadell stood in a tank top and running shorts, with former students stretching by his side. Mother and daughter Kristin and Lauren Frost warmed up side-by-side at the Odell fire station. Parkdale pair Bill and Patty Munk shared water from a Camel-Pack as they walked the course together, close behind longtime local Jim Donnelly and his daughter. Mt. Hood local Betty Benjamin escorted her daughter Lindsay to Mid-Valley, insisting on a photo before departing. Gabe Thompson showed, again without the presence of his younger brother Jake, who is serving in Iraq. Former Hood River teachers Roger Nelson and Jim Hammermeister greeted runners with smiles at the starting line, as the large crowd of runners prepared for the 7.4 mile course.

HRVHS teacher and track coach Rich Hedges cruised the crowd on a bicycle, socializing with runners he recently taught and coached as Eagles. Sheriff Joe Wampler gave a final safety briefing before kicking off the run with a ten second countdown.

Three… two… one… and the crowd went wild, shouting loudly as they started their journey toward Jackson Park. Joel Stenberg— sporting the same classic shaggy hair and a bandana look as last years look was one of the first off the starting line. This year he left behind the 'I love MOM' shirt and lacy-white running skirt.

With Mount Adams crisp in view, runners started with a two mile flat stretch of Odell Highway. They wound down and across Tucker Bridge, up a torturous Tucker Hill, and into town. Hitting the Heights, runners were cheered-on by hoards of parade-goers. A cool breeze and soft grass at Jackson Park greeted runners after the finish line, calling for a much deserved holiday break in the shade.

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