Posted by: David Stewart | August 26, 2013

Why Hood to Coast is a Big Thing

I’ve gone back and forth for years as to whether the “Mother of All Relays” was truly a worthwhile experience or not. This year, 2013, I come out as net positive. Here’s why:

So you get a flavor of what this means in person, here was my schedule for running Hood to Coast this year. It’s pretty typical from other years:

Friday 11AM – our team’s first runner starts from the parking lot at Timberline Lodge.
Friday 1:30PM – my van departs from SW Portland to Sandy
Friday 3:30PM – our team’s first van of runners meet us in Sandy and hand off to us
Friday 8:30PM – I finish the last run of our van in Portland and hand off to the other van
Friday 9:00PM – we rest at a friend’s house in SW Portland where we eat a simple meal, take showers and try to sleep
Saturday 12:15PM – we depart SW Portland for St Helens.
Saturday 1:30PM – we arrive in St Helens and take the handoff from the other group of runners.
Saturday 7AM – I finish the last run of our van in Mist, Oregon and hand off to the other group of runners. We drive for Olny Oregon for some sleep
Saturday 9AM – Olny, Oregon for a little sleep
Saturday 11AM – we wake and meet the other van for the last set of legs
Saturday 5PM – I finish for our team and we cross the finish line together.
Saturday 7PM – head home for Portland

If you were tracking that progression, you could see that there was only a few hours here and there for rest, furtive attempts at sleep, try to avoid the worst of injury, dehydration and other pains.

My own run totaled about 13 miles in three separate legs. 13 miles is not too difficult for me usually, but since I was running this race all-out, it takes a little more out of me. I would assume that a lot of runners of Hood to Coast are not experienced marathoners, so 13 to 21 miles of weekend running is probably a lot for them.

Obviously there is a lot this year for my team to be happy about – the weather was much cooler and rainier than I remember for the past few years so it was a real pleasure not to be overheated. Our van had a couple of first-time Hood to Coast racers, and they loved the experience.

So based on this year, I really enjoy Hood to Coast. It’s not without improvement areas. But I dearly hope we get in to the race again next year.

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