The Kollas-Cranmer Memorial 4th of July run has been a summer tradition since the 1970s. Joe Kollas was part of a small group of cross country enthusiasts who called themselves the Mid-Columbia Track Club. The run was named after Kollas when he passed away, and then re-named again when Cranmer passed in 2009.
The Joe Kollas run started with about 40 participants, and today draws near 500 runners and walkers every year.
Joseph Edward Kollas was born January 20th, 1909 in the Hood River valley. He graduated from Oregon Normal School but never pursued a teaching profession. Returned to Hood River and married Sylvia Deakins in 1934. An orchard and raising six children consumed all their time. The orchard was sold in 1966 to neighbor Fred Moe. Joe dedicated his free time to photography. Weddings, graduations and other special events kept him busy. His wonderful pictures of the valley in bloom and many shots of Mt. Hood as well as the Hood River were much sought after. He also took up biking the valley and eventually running, even participating in the Seaside marathon several times. He passed away in 1979. For many years Mrs. Kollas enjoyed seeing the runners on the 4th of July from a vantage point on the Odell highway near her home.
Jerry Cranmer was active in cross country which led him to be an active organizer of the Joe Kollas 4th of July run. He supported the event for over 25 years helping it become a part of Hood River 4th of July traditions. Jerry manned the water stops and helped at the finish line until he passed away on September 10th, 2009.
Want to Donate to the Cause?
The Kollas Cranmer run could not take place without the help of the Hood River Wrestling Club. The donations from our community is what keeps the race going year after year. If you would like to donate to supporting the wrestling team, please specify at registration or send us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank You!