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FAQs

When is this year's event?

The 2021 Great Columbia Crossing 10K will take place in-person on the morning October 10, 2021. The race starts at 8:45 a.m. Participants will need to be in line for the shuttles by 7:00 a.m. on Race Day. Shuttles will run from the Port of Astoria, Oregon and the Port of Chinook, Washington to the Starting Line.

Please check the Race Day Schedule for more detailed information.

Will registration reopen for the in-person event?

Registration will not reopen for the in-person event. Capacity will remain at 2,000 so that we can operate a safe and comfortable event for everyone involved. You can still participate in the Virtual 10k or sign up to volunteer for the in-person event.

What is the Chamber doing to keep this event Covid safe?

Overall

  • Race capacity is capped at just 2,000 participants as opposed to 3,500 in prior years. That means more social distancing from packet pickup to parking to shuttles to starting and finish areas.
  • Every paid participant gets electronic chip timing so your race starts when you physically cross the starting line, not at the gun. This means there’s no need to crowd together at the starting line. You’ll get an accurate accounting of your individual race time regardless of whether you’re the first or the last person to cross the start line.
  • A virtual option is available to accommodate those not able to join us in person

 

Shuttles

  • Shuttle buses will be loaded at ½ normal capacity
  • Shuttle windows will remain open throughout ride (it might get a little wet, so be prepared)
  • Shuttles will not be loaded until immediately before departure – no waiting in an enclosed bus for enough passengers
  • Shuttles will undergo surface disinfecting between trips

 

Masks will be required:

  • As soon as participants reach the shuttle loading area and all around the Ports of Astoria and Chinook. We’ll have disposable masks available for anyone who’s forgotten one.
  • On shuttles at all times
  • At the Dismal Nitch starting area (can be removed upon crossing the starting line)
  • At packet pickup.

 

Packet Pickup

  • To reduce crowding at packet pickup, many selected the option to get their packet mailed directly to them.
  • Those who opted to pick up in-person selected a time to come during the registration process. This will help us mitigate long lines and more evenly spread people out.
  • Groups or families can send one person to pick up all of their packets. (Your designated ‘picker’ will need to know the name, age and city of residence provided during registration to claim your packet.) We have always allowed this, but this year it is for safety as well as convenience.

I am already registered for the in-person event. What can I do to help keep everyone safe?

  • Please comply with the masking and other requirements at all times. Regardless of your feelings about those requirements, they are what we need to do this year to keep everyone comfortable, including the numerous regulatory agencies who will need to approve our future events.  Right now, groups of unmasked people make the public uncomfortable and make us less welcome to stage future races so please be bear with us and be diligent.
  • Please get to the shuttle boarding area as early as possible. We can’t overload the buses this year and don’t want to leave anyone behind.
  • Please be extra nice to our volunteers. Over 100 local residents get up really early to make sure you have a safe and wonderful time.  This year especially, that’s worth a thank you.
  • Please get vaccinated.

I am already registered. What if I choose not to participate?

You have the option to transfer your live registration to another runner/walker through Sept 27h.  Just email our Event Coordinator at events@oldoregon.com. You’ll still have the option of signing up for the virtual race until Sept 27th if you wish.

Can I switch from in-person to virtual?

Yes, but not directly.  You’ll need to sign up separately for virtual and transfer your live registration to someone else (see above).

Can I get a refund if I don't come?

Unfortunately, no.  We have a standing and clear “no refund” policy, as does nearly every other race like ours.

Great Columbia Crossing, even more so than most races, has a vast majority of our costs up front, before the race even begins.  As a non-profit we do not have a pool of funds standing by to absorb those expenses and just “take the loss this year”.  A cancellation doesn’t benefit the Chamber in any way, which is why we work so hard to make it as safe as possible each year.

How much is registration? What is included with registration? Where can I register?

Please check back in on our Registration Page for more updated information about cost, what is included with your registration and how to register. Registration opened on July 14, 2021 and reached capacity before the end of July.

All registrants must sign up using our online application hosted by GetMeRegistered.com. Registration will close on October 9, 2021 or when we sell out at maximum capacity.

How many people can participate in this event?

In 2021, we are limiting registration to 2,000 participants. Typically, we have allowed up to 3,500 participants.

Am I eligible? Can my kid participate?

The Great Columbia Crossing Virtual 10K & 5K is a fun event for the entire family. It is an event enjoyed by both amateurs and skilled athletes. All ages are welcome to register for this year's virtual event. Because each registered participant gets the same perks, registration is the same cost for minors and adults. Every minor (age 17 and under) must be accompanied by an adult guardian at all times during their participation in the virtual event.

Children 10 and under may register for free without chip timing. All participants of any age must register. To include chip timing, participants of any age must register as an adult and pay the registration fee.

Do you offer a discount for groups, seniors or members of the military?

No, we do not. Unfortunately, due to our inherent cost-per-participant, we cannot offer discounts for groups, seniors or members of the military at this time.

How do I get my packet?

In 2021, once you register for the event you will have the option to either pickup or have your packet shipped to you for a fee. Please note that we are not able to bundle shipping for multiple packets sent to the same address.

More information regarding packet pickup times and location will be provided upon registration and listed below.

What do I need for packet pickup?

Upon registering for the event, participants will be required to select a packet pickup time slot between Thursday, October 6 and Sunday, October 10, 2021 or you may choose to have your packet shipped to you. If you did not opt to have your packet shipped, you are required to attend the time slot you signed up for. You can pick up your packet during your designated time slot between Oct. 6-9 at the Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce Admin Building, located at 111 W. Marine Dr. Astoria, OR 97103.

Each Great Columbia Crossing paid participant has their own packet, which must be picked up prior to the race in order to participate. The packet includes their unique bib number, safety pins and 5 Clam Bucks. Participants that selected to ship their packets, or those that chose a Thursday or Friday time slot will be given 5 extra Clam Bucks for 10 total. Participants who purchased a t-shirt with their registration will also be given their t-shirt during packet pick up.

Children under age 10 who registered as a free participant will also pick up their "kid bibs" at packet pick up.

If possible, we recommend picking up your packet on Thursday or Friday, when lines are shorter. This helps ease the strain on our staff and volunteers on Saturday and Sunday, our two busiest days for packet pick up.

You may pick up a packet for friends and/or family members. If you are part of a group, please send one representative into the building to pickup packets for all group members. We will ask you for the following information for each of the group members:

- Correct spelling of the participant's first & last name (used during registration).
- City where the participant lives (used during registration).
- Your name (to make note of who picked up the packet on the participant's behalf).

Participants without a bib, included in your packet, WILL NOT be allowed on a shuttle bus and WILL NOT be allowed to participate in the 10K. If you are caught with a fraudulent bib, a bib from the virtual 10k, or without a bib, you will be cited and banned from future Great Columbia Crossing events.

What are "Clam Bucks?"

Every registered participant will receive 5 wooden tokens known as Clam Bucks, each worth $1, which can be redeemed at a variety of local restaurants in our area during race week!

A list of participating restaurants and instructions on how to use clam bucks is on this page and will be provided to registered participants.

What is the virtual 10k?

For those that are unable to participate in the in-person event in Astoria, we are offering a virtual race package similar to that offered in 2020. Participants can register for $35, which includes a race packet with a bib, an event t-shirt, and free shipping of packet materials. Throughout the race week from Oct. 10-17, runners can run their own course at their own pace, and post their times to the results page by October 17.

Please note that in order to qualify for a marathon, you must run the race in-person at our OFFICIAL USA Track & Field Certified Event. A bib from the virtual event will not grant access onto the bridge for the in-person race.

Please visit the Virtual 10k Page for more information.  Registration closes on September 27, 2021 to allow time for shipping these materials to our virtual participants.

Can I use my time to qualify for a marathon?

Yes. The Great Columbia Crossing 10K run is an OFFICIAL USA Track & Field Certified Event (#OR12025LB). Times corresponding to bib numbers will be posted following the event.

Who does this event benefit?

The Great Columbia Crossing is a fundraiser for the Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce, allowing us to continue hosting this event year after year. Additionally, we give back to our community in two ways: 1) By employing/hiring/utilizing Chamber members and local businesses for event logistics, supplies and services and 2) By giving donations to area nonprofits in exchange for services provided during the event. This really is a community-focused event.

Do you offer registration discounts? Why has the cost of registration gone up?

There are significant costs to hosting a race of this size and our registration fees are determined based on the inherent cost-per-participant, therefore we cannot offer discounts. Event planning during this pandemic is challenging. The services and supplies that we rely on to bring you an enjoyable and safe experience have also been impacted and in many cases are more expensive this year.

The Great Columbia Crossing is a fundraiser for the Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce, allowing us to continue hosting this event year after year and continue providing the services we offer year-round.

Additionally, this event directly gives back to our community in two ways: 1) By employing/hiring/utilizing Chamber members and local businesses for event logistics, supplies and services and 2)By giving donations to area nonprofits in exchange for services provided during the event. This really is a community-focused event.

Can I get a refund?

There are no refunds for any purchases associated with the Great Columbia Crossing 10K/5K, including registration fees. Registration cannot be transferred to another person, and you cannot give your bib to another person. Registration cannot be transferred to a future year's event.

When should I mark my calendar for the upcoming Great Columbia Crossing events?

The event is typically held the second Sunday in October.

The 2022 Great Columbia Crossing 10K will be held on Sunday, Oct. 9.

Why do you need my age/date of birth during registration?

All paid participants are being timed individually, and we will announce the top three winners in each age and gender category at the end of the race and present their awards. If you are not at the ceremony, you will be responsible for picking up your award. Age groups and categories for men and women will include 15 categories: 14 & under, 15-19; 20-24; 25-29; 30-34; 35-39; 40-44; 45-49; 50-54; 55-59; 60-64; 65-69; 70-74; 75-79; 80 & over.

Can I bring a stroller for my small child?

Yes, however, only collapsible strollers are allowed, due to space constraints on our shuttle. All participants with strollers must load the shuttle bus at the Port of Astoria at 7:00 a.m. or 7:30 a.m. on race day, as not all of our shuttle buses are equipped with adequate storage for strollers.

Where is my registration confirmation?

When you register online, you should receive a registration confirmation via email after you have successfully registered for the event. You can select to have your confirmation email resent on the registration page.

What is the event route?

Participants start at Dismal Nitch Rest Area in Washington. They head southwest on State Route 401 toward US-101/Oregon Coast Hwy. Participants turn left onto US-101/Oregon Coast Hwy, cross the Astoria-Megler Bridge and make a left onto US-101/W Marine Drive. They turn left and head through the parking lot near Basin Street and follow arrows west to the Riverwalk. Participants stay on the Riverwalk and then turn right onto Hamburg Street, right on Gateway and then go straight to the Finish Line at the foot of Basin Street! Check out the Course Maps Page for a visual representation of the course (in progress).

What is the bridge incline like?

The uphill portion of the bridge is a little more than 3,250 feet, which is about .61 of a mile. The hill starts about 3.9 miles into the race. The bridge crest is about 4.5 miles into the race. The grade of the hill is 5.62%, or a little less than a 4° slope.

What is the weather in October?

The weather in October can be fickle. Some years, we've had the pleasure of running and walking under brilliant blue skies and sun. Other years, we've experienced downpours and heavy winds. Plan for the worst and hope for the best, but know that the race will still take place, rain or shine.

What is the schedule on event day?

We keep a very tight schedule on race day to ensure our event starts and finishes on time, per our agreement with the Oregon Department of Transportation. We ask that you familiarize yourself with our Schedule of Events Page and arrive on time (in progress). You risk missing the race if you arrive too late on race day.

Where can I park on race day? Where do I catch the shuttle? Can I get dropped off at the starting line?

Parking is available at the Port of Astoria and the Port of Chinook. From there, a shuttle with transport you to the starting line at the Dismal Nitch Rest Area. If you park in Astoria, follow traffic signs off Highway 30 to Hamburg Street and then flaggers will direct drivers to the correct parking lot. In Astoria, participants who arrive later will have to park farther away from the shuttle bus loading site. Please DO NOT attempt to drop off participants or watch participants begin the race at the starting line at Dismal Nitch Rest Area. All participants MUST take the shuttles from the Port of Astoria or the Port of Chinook. Space is limited, and we need to keep the road open for buses transporting 3,500 participants. For parking at the Port of Astoria, use the following address for GPS: 413 Gateway Avenue, Astoria, OR 97103. For parking at the Port of Chinook, use the following address for GPS: 743 Water Street, Chinook, WA 98614.

What if I need special accommodations on the shuttle?

If you or a loved one needs special accommodations on the shuttle due to a disability, wheelchair, etc., please call ahead to let us know. We want to ensure you have the best possible Great Columbia Crossing experience, but we need your help to do so.

Are dogs allowed on the course?

No pets are allowed.

Will there be timers along the course?

There will be volunteers at each mile marker, but since everyone is starting at a different time, they cannot give accurate information regarding your time. Once you cross the finish line, however, you can request your exact time from our timing company.

How long does the course stay open? What if I can't finish the race?

The Astoria-Megler Bridge is only open to participants from the race start at 8:45 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. This means participants have roughly two hours to travel about 5.2 miles of the 6.2-mile race course, as the final mile of the event takes place on city streets after exiting the bridge. If you cannot cross the bridge within the two hour time limit, you will be picked up by a “sweeper bus" at 10:45 a.m. This is necessary to ensure the bridge can reopen to vehicle traffic promptly at 11 a.m. The finish line will stay in place until 11:30 a.m. All participants MUST finish the event course by that time. Those who sign up for this event should be able to sustain a walking pace of 3 mph for the duration of the course.

Are earbuds allowed on the course?

We understand that many runners enjoy listening to music while they run, so earbuds/headphones are allowed at the race. However, keep in mind that you will still need to hear race course announcements for your safety, so please keep the volume of your music low enough so you can still hear what is happening around you.

What happens if I’m hurt along the course?

We will have emergency medical technicians placed along the race route and at all of the mile marker locations on the bridge. There are also several law enforcement officers patrolling the route during the entire event who can respond to any emergency situation with lights and sirens. One ambulance is staged at the ODOT headquarters at the base of the Astoria-Megler Bridge in Astoria and one ambulance is staged at the foot of the bridge in Washington.

What impacts are there to vehicles during the event? Is the bridge closed to traffic?

Your patience on race morning is greatly appreciated. There will be heavy traffic crossing the bridge early in the morning, as our shuttles to the starting area begin at 6:30 a.m. Starting at 8:30 a.m., the Astoria-Megler Bridge will be CLOSED to all vehicle traffic, to allow the race to start promptly at 8:45 a.m. The bridge will reopen to regular traffic at 11:00 a.m. Members of the local community should plan ahead and make alternate travel plans for race morning. If you need to cross the river that day, consider changing your trip schedule to cross the bridge prior to the closure or after the closure. We appreciate the assistance and coordination from the many agencies that provide traffic control, security and safety for the event.

Will there be an award ceremony?

A short awards ceremony will begin promptly at 10:45 a.m. near the finish line. We will announce the top three winners in each age and gender category and present their awards. If you are not at the ceremony, you will be responsible for picking up any award after the event at the Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce office, located at 111 W. Marine Drive in Astoria. If you would like your award mailed to you, there will be a $5 shipping charge. Age groups and categories for men and women will include 15 categories: 14 & under, 15-19; 20-24; 25-29; 30-34; 35-39; 40-44; 45-49; 50-54; 55-59; 60-64; 65-69; 70-74; 75-79; 80 & over.

How does electronic chip timing work?

We contract with Eclectic Edge Racing, out of Eugene, to provide electronic chip timing for all of our paid participants. The chip is attached to the bottom of your bib, on a perforated tear tag. As soon as you cross the start line, your time starts! The chip records your finish time once you step across the finish line. We will have a line of volunteers at the finish line who will take the perforated tear tag off your bib. In order to get accurate timing, you must wear your bib on your front and on your top layer of clothing. Chip timing doesn't mean you have to run or walk at a certain pace. Participants can run, jog, walk, skip, stroll, etc. Go at whatever pace works for you!

How many bathrooms will be at the event?

There are 12 portable restrooms where you load the shuttle buses at the Port of Astoria (which is also the finish line area). You will find 35 portable restrooms at the starting line at Dismal Nitch. There are also two portable restroom at the top of the bridge, for mid-race emergencies. We are not allowed to place any more portable restrooms along the race course, due to the strict time constraints of our event and the need to reopen the highway to vehicle traffic on time.

Where do I get a snack and water?

A light snack and water is available at the end of the race (Port of Astoria), straight ahead after you cross the finish line. Look for the WATER and SNACKS banners. A water station is also set up at the starting line (Dismal Nitch Rest Area). Look for the WATER banner. Water is not provided along the race route because it occurs along a state highway that promptly re-opens to traffic following the race, leaving no time to clean up water station garbage.

Where is "Gear Check" dropoff and pickup?

The Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce provides a “Gear Check” service! When you arrive at the starting line, you can find the “Gear Check” truck located at the east end of the Dismal Nitch Rest Area, past the portable restrooms. Look for the "Gear Check" sign! You can put your sweatshirts, jackets and anything else you don't want to carry during the race in a plastic sack labeled with your unique bib number. We will shuttle the sacks across the river, and they will be available for pick up next to the water tables near the finish line.  These items must be turned in before 8 a.m. as the gear check truck will need to depart before the bridge is closed to traffic.

Can I bring a bag?

No bags are allowed on the shuttle buses or the race course. This includes fanny packs, backpacks, running belt pouches, diaper bags, purses, camel backs, shopping sacks. NO BAGS are allowed. You can carry loose items in your pockets (keys, water bottles, etc.). This policy was created with local law enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security. This policy is in place for your safety.

Is there a finisher medal?

A limited number of finisher medals will be made available for purchase. We encourage race participants to purchase a t-shirt or event photo to commemorate the day.

Will a shuttle bus return me to the parking lot at the Port of Chinook after the race?

Yes. Shuttle buses returning to the Port of Chinook will leave the Port of Astoria (finish line) at 11:00 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.

When do I get my race results?

The initial results are posted on our Results Page within 24 hours. The final results will be corrected within 7 days. These results will display all of our participants, as everyone has a timing chip on their bib.

Where should I stay if I'm coming from out of town?

You can find a list of area lodgings on our tourism website. The four closest hotels -- all within 5 minutes walking distance -- to the shuttle bus pick up at the Port of Astoria are Astoria Riverwalk InnCannery Pier Hotel & SpaHoliday Inn Express Hotel & Suites and Motel 6.

What else can I do in town on event weekend?

Check out our tourism website for area information, or peruse our event calendar for ideas.

What is your refund/cancellation policy? Can I transfer my registration to another person if I can't make it?

We are unable to provide any refunds for this race. If you would like to discuss with us why that is, we are happy to explain to the process. The short answer is that there are significant upfront costs to hosting a race of this size and your registration fees get spent on those costs as soon as your registration is processed.  A cancellation does not create a windfall for the Chamber -- just the opposite.  So we, like you, definitely don’t want that to happen and we will do everything we can to make sure the race goes on safely and as planned.

 

If you find that you cannot make it, though, we have added the ability to transfer your registration to another person so long as you do so before September 27 to give us enough time to make the appropriate changes.

More questions?

Email the Event Coordinator or call 503-325-6311.