HOOD TO COAST follows four unlikely teams on their epic journey to conquer the world's largest relay race. The film captures the love, dedication, and insanity of the every day runner as well as the excitement, pain, and humor of the unprepared first timer. Their stories are reminders that no matter who you are, you can push yourself beyond where you thought your limits were.
Each year 1,000 teams (12,000 runners) in 2,000 vans cover 197 grueling miles as a relay, putting themselves through an arduous physical journey that as an individual would be impossible.
Some run to test their personal limits, some to overcome personal obstacles, and others leap in blindly looking for a way to shake up a complacent life. As we follow four teams from their preparations through the big day, we realize that winning isn't everything in a film that takes a celebratory look at personal motivation and attempting the extraordinary.
The four teams show the diversity that this famous race draws. We get doses of humor from the aging, but still competitive, Masters runners of "The Dead Jocks" and the woefully under-prepared and inexperienced animators-by-day, "Thunder and Laikaning". Then you have the teams for whom the relay means so much more: "Heart N' Sole", a group of 50+ women for whom this year is more special (and nerve-wracking) than most as team member Kathy runs nearly 1 year after collapsing on the course from a heart attack; and team "R.Bowe", a medley of family and friends of Ryan Bowe (who first ran HtC at age 12 with his dad), who banded together to run the relay in his honor, both celebrating his life and grieving their loss with each step.
The race itself has exploded in popularity in it's 29 years, now requiring a lottery entry to participate. From the website:
The idea was that 12 people would divide themselves into two groups of six, run three legs each and cover the nearly 200 mile distance from the mountain to the ocean. Running all through the night, it was an adventure for hard-core runners and sleep was secondary to striving for their fastest time.
More importantly, the race has become an adventure not only for serious athletes, but amateur runners and thrill seekers. Team names began to describe not only the origins of the team, but the attitude they would carry with them on the course. Today, teams decorate their vans and take on a race persona, lending a carnival atmosphere to the entire race.
Did anyone else see "Hood to Coast" on Tuesday? Have any of you run a relay before?