12 runners. 200 miles. 28 hours.
To get a glimpse of the grueling, perhaps completely crazy feat we pulled off recently, hop over to Google maps, do a search for Mt. Hood to Seaside, OR and select the walk option. That was our weekend. If you have the drive, the guts and the momentary lapse in good judgment, maybe we’ll see you on the mountain next year.
Imagine: 12 people, covering 200 miles in 28 hours – all to the soundtrack of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” with ZERO hours of sleep and as few bathroom stops as humanly possible – sounds awesome right?
It kind of was.
On Aug 26th, Team Columbia set out to conquer Hood to Coast, the Mother of All Relays, – and conquer it we did! Running through rain, sun, mist and darkness, the team took Columbia’s concept of “tough mothers” to a whole new level.
It did help that we were all outfitted with Columbia’s top performance products, keeping us warm, dry, cool and protected depending on our needs, regardless of the elements Mother Nature threw in front of us. (shameless plug)
Over the course of 28 hours, we encountered vicious thunderstorms, pounding rain and searing afternoon heat. The challenging conditions and run segments were interspersed with 2am trips to the closest burger joint and long hours of “team building” in the confines of an increasingly foul smelling van.
Luckily, the best conditions were saved for last. At the finish line beach-party on Oregon’s coast, we soaked up the sun, licked our wounds and enjoyed some well-deserved adult beverages. War stories were passed around as the hair on all of our chests grew exponentially. An attempted masking of the incredible limps we all now possessed later, and the whole thing became a “We actually did that?” memory, to go along with our “Yeah, we did that.” medals.
Hood to Coast is the largest relay race in the world, and brings in over 15,000 runners on a course that starts on Oregon’s majestic Mount Hood, and ends 200 miles later at the beach in Seaside, Oregon. Teams from around the world run at various skill levels. All that is required for entry is a bit running ability, and a whole handful of crazy. Look out for next year’s relay, or for volunteer opportunities.
Now that we got Hood to Coast out of the way, we’re chomping at the bit to do it again. Do you have a good 200 mile section you’d like to see us run? Feel free to submit a Google map in the comments. Just be ready to strap on your shoes and headlamp and do it with us!
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