Final race in May series is a test of endurance

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William James
The Broadside

The final race in the Central Oregon Community College May Race Series has finally arrived. On Thursday, May 27, runners from COCC, Oregon State-Cascades and all over Bend will meet at the COCC track for the 15th annual Storm the Stairs competition.

The two mile run/walk and the three mile Ultimate Challenge race will test the physical fortitude of the runners, as they will sprint as fast as they can up and down the stairs all over the COCC campus. The two- milers will be racing up through Grandview and Juniper Halls, and the racers participating in the Ultimate Challenge will race back down the hill and through the OSU-Cascades campus on their way to the finish line. Race officials will be posted throughout campus to block off traffic and to ensure racers don’t stray off the course.

“This race originated because we wanted to use the campus as a race course,” says Bill Douglass, director of club sports at COCC. Douglass says that Storm The Stairs traditionally is the biggest event in the May Race Series.

“Most years, this features the most racers,” Douglass said, “We’re estimating about 150 people this year.”
Tony Monroe, the COCC track coach who is assisting in putting together the entire series, may participate next year.

“I have never participated before,” he said.

Monroe also added that Storm the Stairs is a “great and unique running event that’s known around the community and has a great history.”
Monroe encourages all of his track-and-field athletes, as well as all students involved in his track class to participate in the race.

“I think the competition is growing and becoming more competitive as the COCC clubs keep expanding and getting more people to become active,” said Zachary Rowland, who will be competing in Storm the Stairs for the second time and is chiefly motivated not only by Max King, the track star from Central Point, Oregon, but by the love of racing.

“I have races almost every weekend,” Rowland says, “And it’s hard to be ready and motivated for them all, but I’ll make the best out of every one and make sure I don’t hold anything back.”

Day of race registration for the 15th annual Storm the Stairs competition will take place from 4:30 to 5:15 pm. on the track at COCC on Thursday, May 27. The 2 mile run/walk and 3 mile ultimate challenge will be followed by a barbecue outside the Campus Center. There will also be a prize drawing for all competitors involved, and awards for the top male/female finishers. This race is free to all COCC/OSU-Cascades staff and students. Entry costs three dollars for non-COCC/OSU students ages 0-18, and six dollars for the rest of the community.

You may contact William James at wjames@cocc.edu

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