Posted by: David Stewart | August 29, 2011

Why I will never run Hood to Coast again

A day after the end of Hood to Coast this past weekend, I was feeling the usual warmth for my team. But it can’t compare with the incredibly poor organization I saw this year. This race is really sick and needs some serious fixes before I will consider running it again.

If you don’t know about it, Hood to Coast is the iconic Oregon 200 mile relay race stretching from Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood to the coastal town of Seaside. Twelve member teams split up the race into 36 legs, and can take from 18 to 40 hours to run.

My background with the Hood to Coast Relay starts around 1993 when I volunteered for a work team. In 1996, I ran for the first time (Leg 12), and ran the next time in 1998. I have run probably another 4 times since then, including this year, 2011.

I have nothing but good things to say about my team, Crazies Going Coastal. We came in 9th in our age group (mixed masters), and had a terrific time.

Barb Luscher on the Hood tp Coast trail

We’re one of those silly teams which stop periodically during a leg, pile out of the van and cheer on our runner, offering cold water or whatever else they want.

Pam Field credit: Hood to Coast, Crazies Going Coastal Hood to Coast last legs - Barb Luscher Hood to Coast - Mark Brenner lookin fly

Photo credit Pam Field: Hood to Coast, Dave's finish

So our team was awesome and spectacular.  There were also some decent upgrades on van decorations. For example, the GO NADS were handing out blue antenna balls and were blaring music from their tricked-out van.

 Hood to Coast, the NADS van got an upgrade this year

But I did have issue with the GO NADS blaring their music and yelling at people to "Get going!" in the last sleeping area of the race.

No, the real reason I am upset with the race this year, is because the organization was terrible.

  • Old hands are accustomed to some traffic jams in the Coast Range. But the traffic jams were insufferable this time. The line for the van exchange into Mist was about two miles long! Practically all of our van racers had to jump out of the van before getting into the exchange, which is ridiculous.
  • Because of the hideous traffic, we got less than an hour to sleep in our van break, and we should have had at least two
  • In Seaside, our van was forced to park in a lot miles from the finish and wait over a half hour for a shuttle to the finish line. The threat was "disqualification" if they didn’t park in the shuttle lot. As a result, for the first time in many years, we finished without our whole team being present. The only way to make this work would be to send your absolute slowest runner in the last position to ever have a hope of making it to the finish area when their runner finishes.

Now what could be the cause of this total breakdown of organization?

  • Could it be that we started at 6:00AM on Friday, earlier than we ever had?
  • Could it be that the early start collided with the 250 walking teams and unknown number of high school teams, all of which were started at the same time.
  • Or could it be due to the 250 additional teams added to the race?

We all agreed that the organization was terrible. How ironic that this would happen in the same year as the Hood to Coast movie came out, which would be the perfect year to shine in the race!

No more H2C for me, unless we have some explanation of this.



  1. Fun team name! Bummer that the run was all that you said it was.

  2. […] year I promised I would never run Hood to Coast again, saying things like: “No more H2C for me, unless we have some explanation of […]

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