Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hood to Coast

2008 Hood to Coast 17Image by cachew via Flickr
Last night my wife and I went to see the new Hood to Coast documentary. Maybe it's because I'm relatively new to running, or maybe it's because I'm not living in the northwest, but before I heard about this movie a few weeks ago, I had never heard of the Hood to Coast race. Turns out it's a pretty big deal. It's a 197mi relay race from Mt. Hood, through Portland, to the pacific coast. It's run by 12-person relay teams. Each runner does three 5-7 mile legs instead of a single 14-16 mile leg. I can see how this would add to the challenge because by your last leg, you've probably been up for 30 hours or more. Maybe you could squeeze in some sleep, but it just seems like I would have a hard time sleeping during an event like that.

I thought the documentary was very good, and I can't wait to watch it again. I hope it will be coming out on DVD soon. It followed four teams through the race. Periodically they would show a map to update the location of each team. I found myself wishing the teams weren't so far along, because it meant that the movie was getting close to the end (I was really enjoying it and didn't want it to be over!).

Each of the four teams had some sort of a unique story: a woman who had a heart attack during a previous HTC race; a family that lost a family member while preparing to run a previous HTC race; a group of older (masters) runners who feel like their running ability is on the decline (but they are still really fast); and a group that included at least a couple of people who had never done any running (and whose training apparently consisted of resting and beer-drinking). The mood of the movie swung from the sad emotions of the family remembering their lost family member, to the comedy of the new runners who seemed to have no idea what they had gotten themselves into. It was a fun ride, and I give the movie two big thumbs up.

It was fun to watch reactions of others coming out of the theater. My wife and I met two other couples, both included a runner and a non-runner (or close to non-runner). The runners in our group were pretty pumped, talking about how we should do a relay and joking (kinda) about how we should get a HTC team together. The non-runners thought it was kinda crazy. But, especially for the runners in the crowd, it seemed unanimous that the movie was inspiring and fun to watch.

Hood to CoastImage by garda via Flickr


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