SPORTS SPOTLIGHT: ‘Swinnie’ is a pacesetter

Tom Swinford

“Swinnie” is his nickname and running is his game.

Tom Swinford is the heart and soul of the successful Newport Marathon, sponsored by the Newport High School Booster Club. The heart-pounding annual event gets underway Saturday, 7 a.m., at the historic “haunted lighthouse” at Yaquina Bay State Park.

Tom’s efforts have given Lincoln County student-athletes the chance to run their feet sore on weekend runs. He operates on a year-round routine and never seems to tire of spending this rewarding time with these young runners. Oftentimes they are joined by locals from our community on these runs.

Tom was not one of those exceptional running athletes when he was younger; however, he developed a keen love for the track. After a successful teaching career with the Lincoln County schools serving the disadvantaged students, “Swinnie” retired to the edge of the forest outside of the Elk City area. There, on bucolic acreage, he raises goats and other small domestic critters while a lot of his time is spent driving the backroads into Newport to serve our community.

His politics are a little liberal, his hair a little longer than usual, but his heart is pure gold. He has that infectious smile that always captures your interest. His quiet style in his relations with people makes him a much-appreciated addition to so many lives.

Why can’t more people be like Tom Swinford?

The Newport environs lie at the heart of Oregon's beautiful central coast. Blue water, crashing surf, and natural wonders abound in seemingly endless variety. Local residents love to share their special place with visitors giving Newport its motto "The Friendliest". From quiet walks on the beach to deep sea fishing to visiting the numerous local attractions, there are a wide range of opportunities for recreation and inner reflection. About Newport, the Marathon website states, “It's the perfect setting for a marathon.”

Congratulations Tom on so many successful marathons. We all know that this year’s run will be another enjoyable experience from winner to last place finishers.

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