Race Recap: 1982 Hood to Coast (!)


The flyer for the 1982 Hood to Coast Relay

This post was originally posted to Run Oregon in 2012. We thought it was cool enough to post again.

Ever wonder what it would have been like to run Hood to Coast 30+ years ago?
Run Oregon reader John Stirniman ran the “Mother of all Relays” in 1982, and he was correct in guessing we’d like to hear about it! Read below for some excerpts from his recap of the 1982 Hood to Coast Relay, and check out the link to read the full story.

 On the start:
Eight teams have shown up, each with a full complement of ten runners.  That’s eighty total participants. Not a bad turnout for such an unusual format, with no history.  But at sunrise, only eight runners toe the line, looking pretty anemic.  Bob [Foote] has decided to use a mass start. He says we will start at the first glint of the sun. 
The race starts by the chair lift west of the lodge.  The first leg goes down the Glade Trail to Government Camp, then Rt26, west to Portland. The Glade Trail is an un-maintained dirt and rock road between Timberline Lodge and Government Camp.  It is straight, heading directly  down the mountain.  It drops 2040 ft over 2.9 miles, an average 13% grade over a rough surface.  
On the course:
We’re in the wine and farming country around Yamhill and Carlton.  The temperature is much hotter than the forecast 95, I suspect close to or above 100.  Car manufacturers should put those little glass thermometers in the dash.  We’re stopping frequently to offer water to the runner. 
Another unfortunate location for an exchange, near a dairy farm. Specifically, right next to a pond where the stench of manure, curdled milk, and ammonia is overpowering. We drop Erik off. We decide to park about a quarter mile up the road. Erik also moves a couple hundred yards in the other direction, back down the course. He’ll wait until Brendon approaches before taking his mark. 
The touch is made. Erik runs by. Brendon is now standing alone near the stink pond, panting heavily. We’re watching from a distance. Carter:  “I betcha he throws up.”  We wait in anticipation.  Maybe . . .Maybe. . .Nope.  He’s waving for us to come pick him up.  We keep watching.  We’re sure he has sufficient incentive to begin walking in our direction. 
It’s completely deserted along the course.Our team of ten and … nobody. Maybe an occasional car, a cow or two, but no people. It was nice seeing other teams at the beginning. But this is nice as well.
At the coast:

Bob Foote on the mic announcing the awards for the 1982 Hood to Coast Relay

The finish area is anti-climatic. It’s unclear what to do now that we’ve run out of legs. The campground is still active. The beach is deserted and too dark to see the ocean. We decide to go down to the ocean to make the trip complete. 
The Hungry Harbor restaurant is closed. We’ll have to eat what is left over of our junk food. Some campers tell us the restaurant opens early for the local dory fisherman. They want to know why we ran all the way. 
We pitch our tents for the night. Nobody seems eager to stay up late. Bob however, will sit near the finish line. He has no idea when the next seven teams will arrive. I suspect he’ll be up late. 
Sunrise. Many other runners are up and about. Bob says he got a couple of hours sleep. The last team arrived around 3:20 am. I figure the last team ran about ten legs in the dark. How amazing crazy is that? 
Read the rest … and have a fun, safe Hood to Coast 2014!
About Author

We started the Run Oregon blog in February 2007, because felt like running in Oregon and SW Washington deserved more positive coverage. We also wanted to level the playing field so that small, non-profit races could compete with big events; and to support local race organizers.

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