Tuesday night was the premiere of Hood to Coast, a documentary filmed in 2008 about the Hood To Coast Relay that happens in Oregon. It was an extremely emotional movie, both because of the teams they chose to follow, and because as a runner you know how it feels to accomplish something so amazing. I haven’t run in a relay (yet) but I felt pretty amazing when I finished the Hartford Half Marathon.
The teams they followed included Team R-Bowe; they were a group of family and friends running in honor of a man named Ryan who died one month before the 2007 Hood to Coast. It followed their emotional journey of training and prepping to run the relay without him. He was only 30 when he died unexpectedly, and his wife was 9 months pregnant. They followed Team Thunder & Laikaning; a team made up of actual runners and a couple of people who ran 3 miles a few days before the race and called that training.
That was also the longest they had ever run before they ran the relay. They also followed Team Heart and Sole; a group of older women who are marathoners and relayers for many years running. In the 2007 Hood to Coast, one of the runners, Kathy, technically died at the start of her third and final leg. After the hand-off was made, she began running and then her heart stopped and she was pronounced dead. She was brought back to life and wanted to come back to prove to herself that she could do it, and she did.
Aside from the incredibly emotional and moving journey that all of the teams took to run the race, it was a great documentary about what it’s like to run a relay. I’ve signed up to run the New England Relay in June (Hood to Coast is 197 miles, New England Relay is 220… yikes!) so it was really interesting for me to get a “behind-the-scenes” look at how a relay works and how I should expect to feel during it.
This was a one night event, but when the DVD comes out I highly recommend seeing it! Keep the tissues handy, and maybe your running shoes as well (unless you run barefoot!) because you’ll want to go for a run after.
Has anyone run a relay before? Ragnar or other? I would love some tips or stories, advice on what to expect!