In an affront to the gods of nerdom, the first-place female-division winner of the 5-kilometer “Truffle Shuffle” fun run held June 7 in Cannon Beach had never seen “The Goonies.”
In fact, Esther Schrama, who lives in Houston, Texas, but hails from Holland, had never even heard of the 1985 cult classic before last week. She was simply visiting her friend, Cari Schwerd, in Portland and asked if there were going to be any races in the area. Schwerd, a Goonies fan who came to the coast to celebrate her birthday, mentioned the fun run — held 30 years to the day that “The Goonies” hit theaters — and actually heard Schrama utter the words: “What’s ‘The Goonies’?”
How does Schwerd explain the cosmic injustice that is Schrama’s victory? “Goonies fans are (busy) watching the movie instead of training,” she said.
The nearly 500 runners at the event, hosted by the Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce, ran northward along the shoreline from the Tolovana Beach Wayside to East Washington Street and back. The runners’ times weren’t recorded, but Schrama finished the run in about 18 minutes, she estimated.
As a warm-up, a small circle of children and their parents Truffle Shuffled. This is where one lifts up one’s shirt to expose one’s belly and jiggles it for public amusement, a stunt made famous by “Chunk,” the chunky kid in “The Goonies” played by the no-longer-chunky child-actor-turned-lawyer Jeff Cohen.
The fan-status of the fun run attendees — runners and non-runners, young and old — ranged from nonexistent, as in Schrama’s case, to full-fledged cosplayer (costume player).
Dave Freeman, an attorney from Bellingham, Wash., showed up dressed as Sloth, the film’s sweet and simple Quasimodo lookalike, wearing the character’s Superman T-shirt, red suspenders and pirate hat. His wife, Miranda, came as Brand Walsh, the athletic older brother of Mikey Walsh, the main Goonie.
“I thought there’d be more Brands (at the fun run),” Miranda said, wearing a red bandanna and a gray hooded sweatshirt with the sleeves cut off, Brand-style. “It’s the obvious costume to wear at a 5K, right?”
The two 35-year-olds celebrated “The Goonies” on Saturday by dressing as Chunk and Mama Fratelli, respectively, Freeman said. And on Friday, Freeman appeared in court in Ferndale, Wash., sporting a bow tie and tweed jacket, à la Mr. Walsh, father of Brand and Mikey.
“Now I’m sounding like I’m crazy,” Freeman said, laughing.
Crazy like a dedicated Goonies fan. And, as the North Coast’s Goonies extravaganza proved, such fans are legion, and for good reason: The film — like “The Wizard of Oz,” “Willy Wonka” and “E.T.” — speaks to children’s inner adult and to adults’ inner child.
“It’s like that catchy song on the radio — you have to sing along,” Miranda said.
Also at the fun run were two filmmakers, Rob Paine and Dave Ainley, of Spokane, Wash. The pair traveled to the North Coast to shoot what they hope will become the pilot episode of a low-budget, independent travel series focusing on locations in the United States where famous movies and TV shows were filmed. (They plan to film the Twin Peaks Fest in North Bend, Wash., next month.)
Paine arrived assuming that Goonies celebration was “just a weird nostalgic trip” for people who grew up in the 1980s, he said.
Indeed, Tiffany Smith, of Seattle, echoed the sentiment of many Goonies enthusiasts when she said, “I don’t remember my childhood without it.”
She, along with her friends, Katie Stiles and Jason Santos, attended the fun run wearing flowered Hawaiian shirts exactly like Chunk’s — and, like Chunk, they seized an opportunity to Truffle Shuffle with abandon, just because they could.
So nostalgia, it seems, is a big part of the Goonies’ endurance. “But it’s much more than that, too,” Paine said.
From Thursday through Sunday, he and Ainley covered almost every Goonies-related event and realized that “Goonies” enjoyment itself has become an institution, almost a birthright. “Every family will keep passing it down to the next generation,” Paine said.
“My nephews watch it, and they love it,” said Stiles, who got hooked on “The Goonies” upon its release 30 years ago. “It’s just timeless.”