Hood to Coast: 13 Fun Facts About the Mother of All Relays

Ever heard of Hood to Coast

It happens every August in Oregon...

  • 12,000 runners cover 196 miles on road and trail
  • Teams run from Timberline Lodge at Mount Hood to Seaside, Ore.
  • And there's 36 legs or transition points to reach the beach

This year marks the 41st year of Hood to Coast...also known as the Mother of All Relays.

Check out these 13 fun facts about Hood to Coast:

Hood to Coast draws 12,000 runners, 1,000 teams, and 3,500 volunteers for the 196-mile relay from Mount Hood to Seaside, Ore.

1. Teams, Runners & Volunteers

The Hood to Coast relay draws a big crowd to the Pacific Northwest...

  • Teams: 1,000
  • Runners: 12,000 (Most teams have 12 runners)
  • Volunteers: 3,500

With so many runners + two vehicles per team, Hood to Coast begins at Mount Hood's Timberline Lodge with staggered start times on Friday, August 25, 2023, from 3 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Teams have 36 hours to run 196 miles to Seaside, Ore.

The first Hood to Coast relay was held in 1982. Hood to Coast founder Bob Foote announces the first team to win the race.

2. It All Started Back In...

1982.

You know, back when...

  • The Commodore 64 personal computer with a floppy disk drive was released.
  • One of the most popular running movies ever made came out: Chariots of Fire
  • Singer and performer Michael Jackson release Thriller, and...
  • G.I Joe action figures and Baby Skates the doll were popular toys

After running marathons and ultras, Bob Foote wanted a bigger challenge...

  • He organized the first Hood to Coast relay on August 7, 1982.
  • 8 teams with 10 runners completed the first relay.
Actor and comedian Kevin Hart ran the Hood to Coast relay in 2016.

3. Celebrity Sighting

In 2016, actor and comedian Kevin Hart ran the Hood to Coast relay with a Nike team.

He even recapped the experience in this video

  • "I don't know if people understand what this is or how serious it is, but we did it," says Hart. 
  • "The most amazing thing about it was, these people were about it," says Hart. "They were running for life."
  • "I've never seen people more encouraging and more supportive in my life. This was by far the most amazing experience I've ever had running."
The Hood to Coast relay draws runners from 40 countries and all 50 states.

4. Around the World

The Hood to Coast Relay draws runners from around the world, including:

  •  40 countries
  • And all 50 states

The race is so popular, it sells out every year within minutes. Beginning in the 1990s, Hood to Coast implemented a lottery system to select participating teams.

Team Nike Mambu Baddu still holds the fastest Hood to Coast course record set back in 1995. Their undefeated finish time: 15 hours, 44 minutes, and 55 seconds.

5. Course Record

Hood to Coast Teams have 36 hours to run from Timberline Lodge to Seaside, Ore.

But some teams, finish in half that amount of time.

Set back in 1995, Team Nike Mambu Baddu still holds the fastest Hood to Coast course record.

  • Their finish time: 15:44:55
Everyone on the Hood to Coast Team "70 Rocks" is age 70 or older.

6. Old But Not Out

Here's a little reminder age is just a number...

Team 70 Rocks set a new Hood to Coast record in 2021 for being the oldest team to finish the 196-mile relay.

Everybody on the team is 70 years or older.

“When I heard we needed someone to run an extra leg, I volunteered that I’d be happy to fill in,” said runner Gene Dykes in a recent interview. “After all, I run 100- and 200-mile races all the time.” 

Last year Team Forrest Stump finished the Hood to Coast relay. All 12 members of the team are adaptive athletes.

7. Adaptive Athletes

Last year Team Forrest Stump finished the Hood to Coast relay.

Here's the thing...

Every member of the team is an adaptive athlete...

  • Several have prosthetic legs
  • One is blind
  • Two were paralyzed after spinal cord injuries
  • The rest have other physical challenges

Team Forrest Stump is the first team of all adaptive athletes to finish the race.

Over the last 10 years, the Hood to Coast relay has raised nearly $7 million for the Providence Cancer Institute.

8. Raising Money for Cancer Research

Over the past 10 years, the Hood to Coast relay has raised nearly $7 million for the Providence Cancer Institute.

Hood to Coast is the second-largest road race for cancer fundraising in the United States.

Larry Dutko ran every Hood to Coast relay since 1982. He passed away earlier this year.

9. It Was a Good Run

Portland resident Larry Dutko holds the record for running every Hood to Coast Relay since it began back in 1982.

He ran with his team "Dead Jocks in a Box" in 2022 for the 40th anniversary of Hood to Coast, and passed away earlier this year.

  • “The magic of this race was that we’re running with some new friends that quickly became “best friends,” Larry said.
  • "And this bonding of running together as a team was something that we all missed since our days of high school. "It is an amazing emotion that running with a team creates.” 

This year Hood to Coast is dedicating the final lap of the relay to Larry Dutko.

"Let’s honor his memory as we run Leg 36 and wear LD40 on our team wrist wraps," according to the 2023 Hood to Coast Handbook.

Hood to Coast, the movie, follows four teams on the 196-mile journey from Mount Hood to Seaside, Ore.

10. Watch the Movie

If you really want a peek inside what it's like to run nearly 200 miles from Mount Hood to Seaside, Ore., watch the movie.

Hood to Coast was released in 2011, and follows four teams from start to finish, along with many of their life-changing backstories and struggles that pushed them to the starting line.

  • Watch the trailer HERE.
An estimated 500 port-a-potties are staged along the Hood to Coast route.

11. 'I Gotta Go'

When you gotta go, you gotta go. Right?

Just about every runner has a "bathroom emergency" story.

And while there are long stretches without access to a bathroom along some sections of the Hood to Coast relay, race organizers know runners need a place to go.

  • Estimated number of porta-potties on the Hood to Coast route: 500+
Creative team names have become part of Hood to Coast lore.

12. Team Names

The late Larry Dutko (see #9: It Was a Good Run) and his team "Dead Jocks in a Box" are known to have been one of the very first teams to come up with van decorations, according to the 2023 Hood to Coast Handbook.

Creative team names have been a Hood to Coast tradition, from the beginning.

Check out some of these 2023 Hood to Coast team names:

  • Monty Crython and the Hilly Trail
  • Oreo Speedwagon
  • Electrolyte Orchestra
  • Belle Brigade
  • Turd Herders 
  • MEI Group
  • I-Be-Pro-FUN
  • Worst. Wine Tour. Ever. 
  • Obi-Run Kenobi
  • Cirque du Sore Legs
  • Chafing a Dream
  • Ectopic Beats
  • Sleepless in Scappoose
  • Bowerman Rejects
  • Fine Whines
  • Last Place Legends
  • Twisted Blister
  • Jabber Walkies
  • Purple Sprain
  • Team Questionable Life Choices
  • Come As You Are
  • Party Like a Rx Star
  • Temporary Insanity
  • The Island of Misfit Toys
  • Sandy River Sirens
  • Married Up
  • We're Fonda Jane
  • Gumps N' Roses
  • Team Half Fast
  • Pace Cadets 
  • Original Marga-Relay-Ville
  • Death Medals 
  • Exchange 37
  • Kids, Get Your Shoes On
  • Cut an Run
  • Flat Out Force
  • The Incredibles
  • Blister Sisters
  • Ahhh Craps
  • Runnin' With the Devil
  • Lovie's Ladies
  • Check Your Rack
  • Team Nike Roadkills
  • Octopuses
  • We've Got the Runs
  • Team Slow-Poke F-Bombers
  • Galactic Pussies
Roger Davis Jr. (from Cleveland, Ohio), ran Hood to Coast with Team Run with the Winners two years ago.

13. The Hood to Coast - Weeviews Connection

Runner Roger Davis Jr. ran the Hood to Coast relay with members of the Cleveland-based running club "Run with the Winners" two years ago.

Roger was also featured in The Rundown:

😀The time I accidentally met Hood to Coast founder Bob Foote

"What are you doing out here?" an old guy on the steps outside Timberline Lodge asked me.

  • It was about 3 a.m.
  • I woke up really early to run a 30-mile out-and-back.
  • Timberline Lodge was the turnaround spot.

"I'm training for a 100-mile race in a few weeks," I told the man.

  • He said he ran marathons and ultras when he was younger.
  • He asked me if I needed any food or drink for the return trip.
  • We chatted about work and family stuff.
  • And then he said...

"It was nice to meet you. I'm Bob Foote, the founder of Hood to Coast."

Have you ran Hood to Coast or another relay?

Tell us about it in the comments or create a WeeView about your race experience.

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