“Don’t Be the Owl.” A few years ago, I ran the HTC High Desert Relay, and this became our team’s motto for the entire weekend. We hit an owl with our car in the wee hours of the morning driving to the gorgeous Brasada Ranch (accidents happen and he clearly had a death wish!) and any time anything went wrong the rest of the day, we reminded ourselves we didn’t want to end up like that owl. We ended up having to fix a flat tire in the middle of one of our relay member’s toughest legs, so that felt like karma for the owl, but we all managed to get through it and it was truly one of the most gorgeous relays I’ve done, despite the literal bumps in the road. And what’s a relay without a little adventure?
This year, the 2021 Hood To Coast High Desert Relay is on October 2nd, and as always, it begins at Brasada Ranch in Powell Butte, just 25 minutes from Bend, OR. Unlike Hood To Coast’s “Mother of All Relays,” this is a one day (and one vehicle) relay which means much less time in a stinky car but all of the fun escapades. This relay is 70 miles from start to finish, looping back to Brasada Ranch and taking your six person team on tours of the Cascade Mountains and Smith Rock, as well as through Prineville Reservoir and the Crooked River. Each team member will run two legs of the 12 leg race. Check out the full course map via this pdf.
If you check out the webpage for this particular race, you’ll see a quote by yours truly that encompasses the vibe of the race.
“It was obvious that someone, (a race director genius perhaps) thought out the course and its was a gorgeous slice of Central Oregon. There was something beautiful everywhere, and though challenging, the scenery was worth that well-earned sweat.”
– Nikkie Mueller, Run Oregon
If you’d like to pamper yourself a little before or after the race, make it easy on yourself, and stay at the Brasada Ranch Resort. For the past three years, Brasada Ranch has been named the Best Resort in the Pacific Northwest by Conde Nast Traveler. They are offering some exclusive Hood to Coast pricing for participants the week of the relay, so now is the time!! Click here or call 877.376.5023 to book your room!
If you’re not a runner, have no fear. In addition to the running teams, which typically split the 70 miles between 6 members of a team, there is a 47 mile walk option as well, which can be done with 4 to 6 team members. This race is open to all, though they are capping the race at 200 teams, so you should probably get right on it! Don’t be the owl!!
When: October 2nd, 2021
Where: Brasada Ranch Resort, 16976 SW Brasada Ranch Rd. Powell Butte OR 97753
Cost: $750 per team