The Kollas-Cranmer Fourth of July Memorial Run has been a definitive kickoff-of-summer tradition for decades. The event began in the early 1970s, with a small group of cross country enthusiasts who called themselves the Mid-Columbia Track Club.
Registration for this year’s event begins at 7 a.m. at Mid Valley Elementary School in Odell. The fee is $20 with a T-shirt or $5 without. Walkers start the course at 8 a.m. and runners start at 9 a.m.
This year, a website has been created: www.kollascranmerrun.webs.com.
The course ends at Jackson Park, where post-parade festivities soon follow.
Last year Yonny Castillo finished first with a time of 41:40, followed by Samuel Cordell in 43:38 and Aaron Baeza in third at 45:08.
The top women’s finisher was Lynn Dutra in 47:52. In second and third were Dana Reid (57:24) and Madelaine Sellers (53:25.)
The 7.4-mile run from Odell to Hood River has steadily gained in popularity over the years, with the late Joe Kollas and Jerry Cranmer both regular participants among the crowds.
The run was named in honor of Kollas after he passed away, and was modified again after Cranmer’s death in 2009. Today the event draws about 500 participants a year across the runner and walker categories.
Although most participants take the course at a fairly leisurely pace, a handful each year race against themselves and the clock. The steep decline from Odell to Tucker Bridge and the climb back up to Windmaster Corner quickly separates the serious runners from the rest of the pack, and the home stretch of the course passes through the crowd-lined parade route just before the parade starts.
Proceeds from the run go to the Hood River Wrestling Club and will be used to support middle school athletics.
The course records date back to 1975 when 46 runners participated. Tom Cason, then 19, claimed the fastest time that year at 39:55.
The course record of 37:18 was set 10 years ago by Ahrlin Bauman, who finished first in 2011 in 38:24.