Friday, August 10, 2007

Turning Beer Into a Relay Event (New York Times)

An interesting article in the NY Times this week about endurance relay events like the Hood to Coast in Portland, OR (with over 12,000 runners), 24 Hours of Moab cycling race, etc.

(Endurance relay racers in Tuscon, photo courtesy of James Mandolini and the NY Times)

The opening paragraph says it all:
"WHEN Tara Ruotolo recruited far-flung pals and friends of friends to run the 197-mile Nike Hood to Coast relay race in northwest Oregon, she didn’t choose her partners in grime based on talent or tenacity alone. Her main criteria? Whether or not she wanted to spend an entire day huddled in a van with them, catching up on who’s dating whom and lending clean togs to forgetful teammates."
That and who hogs the pillow. ;-)



  1. pillow???? when I ran H2C a few years back, there were no pillows!!!cc

  2. Yeah - my thoughts exactly! Just cuz Nike took over the event doesn't mean they have pillows now. The two times I did it were the most sleep deprived fun I'd had in a long time! Oh yeah - and the (cheap) beer really tasted good at the end!

  3. When I started biking due to a running injury, I wondered why these bikers wear such weird outfits. I understand the purpose of being seen by cars but some of the loud colors are just too outrageous. This photo is exactly what I have in mind when I thought "You guys looks like a bunch of clowns!" Mind you, I am aware of the sort of shenanigans that happen at popular 10k races. You just got to laugh at each other.

  4. Hood to Coast is a lot of fun, and I did fall in love with running before and during sunrise. It gets very dusty on the dirt trails with all the team vans going by. The vans can be quite decorative.

  5. Am I stupid or are those guys running with bike helmets on?

  6. Have you ever been to the start of a cross-country race where a huge pack of runners get funnelled into a narrow course? They elbow each other like mad and everyone trips and goes flying. I don't think helmets would be too outrageous.

    However, I find it crazy that they're running with biking shoes. They're so stiff that you might as well be racing in wooden clogs.

  7. It's probably the start of a 24 HR MTB race. Most of them start with a "Le Mans" style running start for a few hundred meters to stretch out the pack. Many of the courses have narrow trails to begin, and it helps a bit to alleviate the initial bottleneck for the faster competitors.

  8. Those relays are a lot of fun. I did Hood to Coast once and the Calistoga to Santa Cruz Relay 3 times. All of them with the same group of people. I agree, less about talent more about personality. These were a great group of people. My enduring memory at HTC was sleeping on the roof our van at a rest site. A cool night, stars, and the headlamps of the runners as they ran by. The ground on the field was too damp for sleeping bags.

  9. Having just finished the Ragnar Relay in Washington state I have to attest that these are great fun indeed. Ragnar put on a heck of a race.

  10. I ran the Wasatch Ragnar a few months ago. It was a blast. Now if they could only make a similar relay on trails. I didn't see the beer at the finish line though... hmm.

  11. Hi, I'm a sports reporter in Gresham, Ore., looking to feature some interesting runners in an upcoming story for The Gresham Outlook and Sandy Post newspapers.

    I would love to chat with you if you have a moment. Feel free to drop me an e-mail at and perhaps we can exchange additional contact info.

    Michael Cade


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