Sunday, December 04, 2011


Over the last year or so I’ve mentioned wanting to branch out from the routine of just running 5K and 10K road races, along with one or two marathons a year. I came up with a list of events I eventually wanted to do – call it a bucket list if you’d like. Last year I crossed the Fat Tire 40 off the list and this spring I (kind of) crossed running the Grand Canyon off the list.

Another event I wrote down at the time was the Hood to Coast relay, the 197-mile relay that runs from Mt. Hood to the coast in Seaside, Oregon. I have some friends that have run this relay and their stories are always intriguing.

So far, my only relay experience came when I was stationed in Turkey as a 19 or 20-year-old. A couple guys organized a bunch of military personnel to run from the Black Sea to the capital city of Ankara to raise money for a Turkish orphanage. We only had one team, so it wasn’t a race like H2C, but it was still an incredible experience. Even though it was 20-some years ago, I still remember riding in the van, lack of sleep, and trying to get out of the van and prepare myself to run those second and third legs. And of course, there’s the camaraderie that can only be generated during such a unique experience.

Anyway, I digress. The reason I bring this up is because I was contacted by the group that put together a Hood to Coast documentary. They sent me a copy of the film and asked me to review it here.

Throughout the event, the film follows four widely different teams; 1) one team’s focus is on their 67-year-old friend who had a heart attack on the course the previous year, 2) a team of family and friends run to honor their husband/son/brother/friend that died within the year, 3) another team is basically made up of a bunch of non-runners who are in it entirely for the experience, and 4) a group of aging serious runners who combine being competitive with having a good time.

Overall, the film (110 minutes) is entertaining. They do a nice job of flipping between each of the teams, as well as filling us in on each of their back-stories. They also do a good job of letting the images of the runners speak for themselves. The one thing I think they could have done a better job with is asking some questions of the runners just after they finished their leg. A couple of times they try to rely on the runners to share their thoughts without much prompting and it seems awkward.

It doesn’t look like they have the single DVD available for sale, however, you can purchase the 2-disc collection for $21.95 from their store if you’re interested. In addition to the film I saw, the second DVD includes;

· 24 Additional Scenes
· “Where are They Now” Update with our main characters
· Making of Hood To Coast
· Director’s Commentary
· Shout-Outs from 2008 and 2010
· Training Tips
· Panel Discussion with Bart Yasso, Alberto Salazar and Mary Decker Slaney
· Tons of extra footage from the race

It could make a nice gift for that runner on your Christmas list.

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