If you’ve never done a Hood To Coast Relay, you are missing out on a lot of fun. We are fortunate enough to live close to “The Mother of All Relays” but what’s nice is that Hood To Coast offers several relay options now, all in different locations, at different times of the year, and you don’t have to spend two days in a stinking van and sleep in a field anymore if you opt for a one day relay.
Though the experience of the weekend-long relay is worth checking off your bucket list, the one day relays are a lot more convenient. I’ve managed to do all of the Hood To Coast Relay options over the years and the course where it all started in 1982 was my favorite of all of them. This historic race course, the Les Schwab’s HTC Cape Lookout Relay, takes a very scenic route that really showcases the beauty of Oregon. It’s no wonder that this relay gained so much popularity over the years, even after they changed the course to the two day option which has reached notoriety to runners and walkers all over the world.
This year, the HTC Cape Lookout Relay will be held on April 30th, and it’s a 72 mile run that is split among 6 team members. There is also a walking course, which is 48 miles long, and this can be split between 4 and 6 walkers. The race is open to all, but there is a cap of 200 teams total, so it’s advisable to get your team in while you still can. The cost is $750 per team, due upon registration.
The course for Cape Lookout starts in Newberg, and runners will traverse through beautiful forests at the start, head along Little Nestucca River, and finally reach their final destination, the Pacific Ocean.
Wanna check out the course maps so you know what you’re getting yourself into? There is a full course PDF you can download here, and you’ll find every leg detailed on the website. Warning: Leg 11 is labeled THE MOST DIFFICULT LEG IN HOOD TO COAST HISTORY! I have done this leg and it is no joke. Expect tough hills both up and down for 9 miles. I would highly suggest you put an experienced runner here. Most of the legs on this relay are around 6 miles, give or take some mileage.
Teams will start heading out in waves that start at approximately 5:00AM and end around 7:45AM. All teams receive their start time as Race Day approaches. There will be a packet pickup on April 22nd at the HTC Offices located on Durham Road in Portland.
One of the nice things about this relay is that volunteers will not be required as they are for the 2 day relays. No begging your sister to come stand out in the cold at 2:00AM! If you do know of anyone who wants to help out at any of the exchanges or water stops, they are welcome to contact organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re ready for some fun, do this relay! There’s a reason why it’s a classic.