First and foremost, registration for the inaugural Hood to Coast Washington (#HTCWA) opens tomorrow (December 7th, 2016) at 12:01 AM! The field will be capped at 250 teams, and we wouldn't be surprised if it fills within the first few weeks or even days (and maybe even day of).
I am fairly certain that we don't need to go too in-depth around who Hood to Coast is and their race as a whole. But after almost 35 years of Mt. Hood to Seaside overnight mayhem, they are moving up one state for their inaugural Washington event. The race starts at Lake Isabella State Park (a bit NW of Olympia) and finishes at the coast in Seabrook. Lake Isabella is about 130 miles from Portland and Seabrook is about 170 miles. While Oregon's version traverses almost 200 miles and 2 days, HTCWA will clock in at 77-miles (52 miles for walking teams) and not leave you running in the dark and overnight.
So when will you be running? Well, start times won’t be announced until May 20, 2017, but it will unsurprisingly be dictated by how fast your team expects to be. They have announced that the starts for running teams will be between 4am and 10am (slower teams running first followed by faster teams), so if you already sort of know who you are running with you can probably estimate if you are going to be getting up super early or not. Walking teams will start between 7am and 10am. I would recommend bookmarking this page for Key Dates to remember.
Check out the course map. Scroll down on that page to see details for each of the 12 legs and a chart with difficulty levels. Each leg ranges in distance from 5.3 to 8 miles. I appreciate that this course is a great opportunity to check out a course that, I am guessing, most of us haven’t experienced or explored. The finish line will be running through Seabrook’s “main street” overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Much like Oregon’s HTC, there will be similar safety standards when it comes to reflective gear (through 9am and after 6pm for vest wearing) and music (no headphones), so it’s not a deviation from what you are used to. However, unlike Oregon’s HTC, there are no volunteer requirements for HTCWA!
There are a few lodging specials going on in Seabrook, but March 1st will be the last day for discounted finish line pricing. Seabrook will be offering a 20% discount on team lodging through that date using code HTC17 at www.seabrookcottagerentals.com or by calling 1-877-779-9990. Do it quick because the first 50 teams to register for two-day packages will receive complimentary race-day breakfast.
If you are still up in the air and haven’t been able to get commitments from friends and family, given the short notice, either consider trying to register early and fill your team later (only a captain with a credit card is needed up front), or head to HTCWA’s Team Matching area.
Hood to Coast Washington
When: June 3, 2016 – Start times between 4am and 10am.
Where: Lake Isabella to Seabrook, WA (Elma to Seabrook for walking teams)
Registration: Online here; $800/running team; $600/walking team