Hood to Coast relay team says van was broken into during race

Published: Aug. 29, 2022 at 9:57 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - A van belonging to a Hood to Coast relay team was broken into Friday evening during the race.

Jenn Basaraba, team captain, said she and her team were parked in a dirt lot near OMSI when someone broke into their van. Along the 200-mile course, there are major exchange points and OMSI is one of them. A spokesperson for Hood to Coast said there were a few van break-ins near OMSI, Basaraba’s being one of them. She said someone broke the lock on one of the sliding doors of their van, hopped inside, and took bags of personal belongings that belonged to her and her teammates.

“You feel violated,” Basaraba said. “I’ve had items stolen from me before, but to have two full bags of your personal belongings things that are very personal to you because you know you can perform well in them, I couldn’t process in my head how I was going to do the rest of the race .”

Basaraba said someone got away with shirts, shoes, safety gear, medication, hearing aids, and other personal belongings. The spokesperson for Hood to Coast said break-ins like this are not normal and only occurred at the OMSI major exchange. As a result, extra security was added to patrol the parking lots.

With most of their racing gear gone, Basaraba said she and her team contemplated stopping the race. But they decided to push on, buying new gear at a Fred Meyer in Scappoose.

“We could have so easily turned away and just given up,” Basaraba said. “We found laughter at the end about what had happened.”

Basaraba said next year they will never leave their van unattended and suggests others do the same. Hood to Coast also said teams need to follow that rule of thumb as well and also not leave valuables behind in vans. Despite hitting a roadblock this year, Basaraba said it was even more rewarding to cross the finish line at the coast.

“At the end of the day, their actions while unfortunate and wrong didn’t stop us or have us lose joy from the race overall,” Basaraba said. “We finished strong and were really proud of that as a team.”