Chase the mountain peaks in White Salmon

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Hill top scenic views of the Columbia River Gorge, Mount Hood and Mount Adams will be the sought after reward for many runners and hikers above White Salmon Saturday.

The free Backyard Half Marathon, with a suggested donation of $10 to the Columbia High School cross country team, starts at 10 a.m. and finishes at Rhinegarten Park in downtown. The 13.1-mile course includes 12 miles of trails that loop up and around Hospital Hill with 1,800 feet of elevation gain.

The City of White Salmon, nearby business and area residents continue to show their support for the sport of running, hiking and having fun in their own backyard. The event, in its fifth year, has grown from 24 racers in its first year to 204 participants last year.

This fall will be the beginning of the third season for the self-funded Bruins cross country team. With the donations from the Backyard Half Marathon, the athletes will continue to enjoy the experiences that the sport has to offer. Members of the team will direct runners on the course and staff the aid stations throughout the race.

For more information, contact Allan Dushan at aldushan@yahoo.com or visit www.columbiagorgerunningclub.com.