RaceCenter Northwest Magazine August/September 2011 : Page 39
The most meaningful transformation at Hood To Coast is the recent focus on fundraising for the American Cancer Society. “Due in large part to Bob Foote’s recent battle with melanoma, we have made a strong push to use our event as a platform for fundraising,” says Hubber. “Bob has said that he should not have made it, and that now he feels he was spared for another reason which includes helping raise this money.” The fundraising numbers are impressive: Hood To Coast raised over $500,000 for the American Cancer Society in 2010 alone. This year, the goal is to raise over $550,000, with LIVESTRONG pledging to raise an additional $100,000. One final change for Hood To Coast was kept in the family. Bob Foote’s daughter, Felicia Hubber, took over as race director in 2006. And as Felicia Hubber has participated, attended or assisted at Hood To Coast in 26 of the last 29 years, it seems the race is in good hands. Hollywood Comes Knocking Similar to the Hood to Coast Relay, the Portland Marathon has become known as a “runner’s run.” The race doesn’t pander to elites with prize money, is one of the few major marathons that allows iPods and other mp3 players on course, and is known to be female-friendly (around 60 percent of participants). Holding the course open for eight hours has also helped the Portland Marathon attract a noteworthy number of walkers. This attention to the participant hasn’t been overlooked nationally. Runner’s World has called the Portland Marathon one of the “friendliest, best-organized, most family-oriented races in the country.” The Portland Marathon turns 40 in 2011 and is expected to draw one of the largest fields in the event’s storied history. As participation in running races continues to grow, the Portland Marathon has kept pace by offering a half marathon for the first time in 2010. Of course, as all things Portland Marathon-related, it quickly sold out. The Portland Marathon and Half Marathon are not good races for procrastinators. If you’re reading this article and are not registered yet, forget about it. Go watch the race this year and see what you’re missing. Then register early next year! www.portlandmarathon.org Not that the Hood To Coast Relay needed any extra publicity, with the race selling out all 1,250 team spots for well over a decade. But it got just that in the form of a feature film documentary titled, yes, “Hood To Coast.” The documentary, directed by Cristoph Baaden, follows four teams as they traverse the 197 miles of the Hood To Coast course. The four teams are a mix of inspiration, hope and energy: Heart N’ Soul, a team of female masters runners featuring a member that collapsed on the course and nearly died just a year earlier; Thunder and Laikaning, a team composed of animators from Portland’s own Laika Entertainment; the Dead Jocks, a team put together with 12 aging jocks trying to recapture their youth and speed; and R. Bowe, a team inspired and driven by the too-early death of Ryan Bowe, a 30 year-old veteran of Hood To Coast. He passed away suddenly a year earlier. The movie reinforces the very principle that most participants of Hood To Coast live by: Winning isn’t the most important thing. In contrast, the friends and memories made while racing are, in fact, everything that matters. The Race for the Rest of Us unwashed runners in a vehicle for over 24 hours, the road caravan of 2,000 decorated vans, and a diet consisting of energy bars and mini-mart corn dogs all help to lower the mean to a fairly anemic level by the end of the race. In fact, by the last few legs of the race, it’s sometimes hard to tell the elite runners from the weekend warriors. And maybe that’s best. “I once heard a person describe the event as ‘Woodstock on wheels,’” says Hubber. “I think that description says it best.” < Hood To Coast is a serious race for serious runners — at times. Hubber says the average runner at Hood To Coast has changed over the years. “You don’t have to be an elite athlete to participate,” Hubber says. “That said, we still have elite athletes, but the difference now is that slow runners like me are enjoying running next to these amazing athletes.” Indeed, the lack of sleep, the funk from six An estimated 90,000 people will take to the beach at the finish in Seaside, OR during the 2011 OfficeMax Hood To Coast Relay on August 27. More information Hood to Coast: www.hoodtocoast.com Hood to Coast, the Movie: www.hoodtocoastmovie.com * In January, 2011, the Hood To Coast/Portland To Coast Relays launched the podcast “On The Course”. The podcast is produced twice per month and covers running and walking and provides timely information about the annual Hood To Coast/Portland To Coast events. You can “On The Course” on iTunes, the Hood To Coast website, and on Facebook. HOOD TO COAST august/september 2011 39 r ac ec ent er . c om FLASHPRO for Hood To Coast over its 30 years has been the integration of the online world with all aspects of the race (except for the actual running). “The interaction with participants and volunteers is now a year-long activity, which is exciting,” says Hubber. “We have become a platform for people to stay in touch within the running/walking community.” Hood To Coast also will be posting race course congestion updates via Twitter and Facebook, and race organizers will host “On The Course” podcasts. THE PORTLAND MARATHON Another Northwest tradition that’s come from humble beginnings to world-renowned status is the Portland Marathon. Celebrating its 40th running in 2011 on October 9, the Portland Marathon started with just 173 runners in 1972. As the race approached its 10th anniversary, participation numbers began to dwindle and it was clear that a change was needed. A new event committee took over for the 1982 race, and the Portland Marathon never looked back. Today, the race regularly sells out with over 12,000 runners, and is consistently cited as one of the best organized marathons in the country.