Runners trek from Applegate Lake to Gold Beach

Be wary of relay racers on rural roads along that 211-mile stretch beginning early Friday morning at the lake

If you plan to take a country drive Friday or Saturday, you'll want to drive extra carefully along the roads from Applegate Lake to Gold Beach.

Come early Friday morning, the around-the-clock Wild Rogue Relay Race begins at 6 a.m. Friday, with a staggered start of up to 500 runners stepping out at Seattle Bar campground on Applegate Lake.

From there, the participants in the inaugural relay race will run some 211 miles on rural Jackson, Josephine and Curry county roads leading across U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, state and county lands.

"There will definitely be more traffic, both motor and foot, on those roads than you would normally see," said Jim Whittington, spokesman for the BLM's Medford District.

"If you are going to be out there, be aware of what is going on and take the appropriate safety measures," he said.

In addition, there will be 36 exchange points where runners are expected to congregate in lager numbers, he said.

"That's where racers will be handing off to each other," he said, reiterating that drivers need to be extremely watchful in those areas.

In teams of six or 12 members, the runners will push ahead day and night until reaching the Curry County Fairgrounds in Gold Beach on Saturday evening.

The event organizer is Sourwood Running LLC of Central Point. The 36-hour-long race is expected to draw more than 40 teams with each runner completing at least three legs of the race, according to organizers. Each leg averages six miles, they noted.

The roads involved include Applegate Road, Beaver Creek Road, Yale-Beaver Road, Little Applegate Road, Highway 238, North Applegate Road, Kubli Road, Fish Hatchery Road, Riverbanks Road, Robertson Bridge Road, Merlin-Galice Road, Grave Creek-Marial Back Country Byway, Eden Valley Road, Forest Service road 3348 and 33, Agness Road, Curry County roads 545, 515, 510 and 555, and Highway 101.

Shuttle vehicles are also expected to be on Cow Creek and Dutch Henry roads.

For more information, see www.thewildroguerelay.com.

Reach reporter Paul Fattig at 776-4496 or e-mail him at pfattig@mailtribune.com.


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