PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Hood to Coast relay is an epic Oregon event.
This year, they'll try to avoid the also epic problem of homeless campers along the Springwater Corridor. Conditions on the one-time popular path have many runners furious.
“It's a scene out of The Walking Dead. It’s frightening and all of those people there are probably convicts, alcoholics, drug addicts and society doesn't have a place for them unfortunately,” said Gim Brown as he ran along the Eastbank Esplanade.
The Springwater Trail connects Portland to Gresham and until recently was a popular place for runners and bike riders.
Sue Curran will take part in Hood to Coast. She thinks part of the Springwater is downright dangerous.
“For sure, for sure. To know that there's not going be people, like I said there's going to be teams running there at night and at any time there could be an issue, but especially for those running through at night and by themselves,” said Curran.
She's one of many glad to hear about the Hood to Coast course change that will move off the Springwater from Southeast 122nd Avenue to 82nd Avenue.
Morgan Saltenberger agrees. He’s the group training director for a popular series of running stores named FootTraffic.
“I think Hood to Coast is making the right call to help those runners divert into a safer direction,” he said.
His group is also avoiding the homeless section of the Springwater.
“Most likely until the city has made their plans to change things and clean up out there, we'll probably stick on the inner part of the path,” he said.
But not everyone is on board. Tim Dickerson, a runner visiting from Spokane says the move is an insult to the homeless.
“I ran the Portland Marathon in 2013 and there was a large encampment under the bridge over here. And they cheered us on just like everybody else did,” he said.
Portland has grappled with its homeless problem for decades. Many residents are as frustrated as ever that in some areas the problem seems to have grown.
“That's our jail. Let’s stay away. Let’s put a fence around it until we find better solutions,” said Gim Brown.