Two years ago, Tom Petersen had a problem.
The longtime Hudson’s Bay cross country coach was getting ready for the annual Steve Maas Run-A-Ree meet when he found construction equipment blocking key parts of the course.
Bay’s new athletic field was under construction, which had faced delays that summer. When Petersen spoke with the construction foreman, he didn’t get the response he had hoped.
“He said ‘Well, I guess you’re going to have to cancel,’ ” Petersen said. “And I was like ‘Cancel?!? This thing has been going for 57 years running!’ So he says ‘Well, I guess you can’t cancel.’ ”
The two worked out a solution, and the race went just as it had every September since 1961. Steve Maas’ name was later added to the Run-A-Ree to honor the Bay graduate who was killed in a military helicopter crash in 1973.
The race endured year after year, surviving smoke from gorge fires in 2017 as well as multiple days with temperatures near 100 degrees.