Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Horse Before the Cart

The Hood to Coast Movie did not disappoint. For those who don’t know, the Hood to Coast Relay takes place in Oregon and goes from the top of Mt. Hood (6,000 feet) to the Pacific Coast. It is 197 miles covered by teams of 12. Each person runs three legs for a total of 15-20 miles over a period of about 24 hours. Except if you’re Dean Karnazes, then you run the whole thing by yourself. No joke.

To go to the movie on Tuesday, I braved the cold temperatures (car thermometer, blurry because I was actually trying to avoid having several head- on collisions while taking this):


And, drove down the road to Boulder. I love that town. We live about 15 minutes away. Not 281 miles:



I was the star of the show in my H2C sweatshirt


And, tried to resist temptation. They really should serve wine at movie theaters then I wouldn’t have to eat all this eff’ing candy:


Like a dork I actually snuck in my own dinner consisting of sliced apples and a homemade jack cheese/avocado/salsa wrap, heavy on the avocado.

I loved the movie. And, being in a theater full of runners, I could openly talk of crapping myself and blowing snot rockets on my coat and no one blinked any eye.

For my full movie review, visit my Examiner article HERE.

Hood to Coast will always hold a special place in my heart. I ran it once in 2009. Like most things I do, my journey to Oregon was a cart-before-the-horse experience. Sometimes life is just meant to be lived in reverse. Leap of faith all the way.

Back in July ‘09 I read on some blog that Strands (the ultimate online digital training log site) was holding a contest. You had to write an essay about why you liked to run. “Hey!” I thought to myself. “I like to run!” If you won, they would put you on a H2C team and send you, all expenses paid, to run the relay.

I had just started running a few months before and had no clue what the hell Hood to Coast was. But, I love a good contest, so I applied by writing this poem:

And, I won.

About then I decided to Google H2C to see what I’d gotten myself  into. Holy Shit. Mother f*cker.

I got scared.

I emailed Strands and shyly questioned if Ken could come with me and pay his own way, just so I could have someone to cheer me on along the way. I’m just insecure like that I guess.

Turns out not only did they “let” Ken come, they put him on our team and paid for everything but his flight. We were put on a Puma sponsored team and given all kinds of stuff from new shoes to sleek running outfits.

About the time Ken and I arrived at our hotel in Portland, we knew we were out of our league. We met our other team mates, not one of them over 32 (we were 41 & 42 at the time). We over-heard them talking about their goals of sustaining 5 minute miles throughout the relay. One guy said he was going to the Olympic trials and he was serious. I farted in disbelief.

Ken and I chugged our beers, shrugged, and decided we were in for the long haul. If nothing else, it would be an experience.

You can read my full race report HERE. I just went back and re-read it. Fun to relive the adventure.

Here’s me trying to be a badass in front of my Olympian team mates. I did not steal this photo. I just like all those words in the middle of the frame. Clearly, you can see I’m winning the race.


Overall, our team did really well finishing in 21 hours and coming in 8th/250 in our division and 30th overall. No shit. 

Hoping I get to run it again someday,


PS: Don’t forget to enter my Healthy Living Giveaway! Ends 1/15.


  1. I am constantly farting in disbelief. In fact, I did the whole time during the reading of this post.

    So cool, lady! Love the photo, too. Words and all!

  2. That is so awesome, I would love to do a relay someday, it seems like a ton of fun. Since I live in a tiny town that doesn't show cool movies I didn't get to go watch it but maybe eventually I'll get to see it, hopefully it will motivate me on a day I'm feeling uninspired.
    PS You look super hardcore in that pic!

  3. I love your review of H2C - I am so sad to have missed the movie, and would love to participate in the relay one day.

    I also can't believe the temp on your car... makes me feel lucky for the 20's here in Chicago!

  4. What do you mean you WERE 41 at the time? I thought you were in your "30's". Huh.

  5. At least you look like you know what you're doing in that picture.

    We have a movie theater here that serves real dinner, beer, and wine in addition to candy and popcorn. It is really cool. There are sofas to sit on and actual tables between some of the comfy theater seats. Too bad you don't live here... or have a theater like that there. lol

    And I saw your anagram on Kovas' blog and read of your disappointment that you couldn't find 'fart'... but did you realize that you could get 'shit'? And don't be too jealous... but I can get 'shart' out of my real name ;-)

  6. -9 F (-22 C) is not especially cold. Even if you are out running in it.

    People might have SAID they were reading your hoodie. Liars.

    I might go back to the theatres if they were to serve wine. But then, it would probably be cheap wine they've added warm tap water to, and I don't even want to think how much they'd charge for it.

  7. Your life is just so stinkin' cool. You're like better than Oprah. You need a talk show, or a radio show... or maybe we should all go live on a running commune and you can be the leader. I'd do it... Just throwing the idea out there.

  8. Oh gosh this is great Beth. So awesome you won!!! How did you like our rainy oregon weather?? I love this race but can't say I ran with a team like yours...holy sh*^ mother fu+%$# is right! :) Um, your poem...awesome! How did you do running without much sleep? Did you party hard at the end? I didn't see the movie but as you can tell from my post just now, I don't get away from my kids a ton so I have to choose my social plans wisely and last night was not a night i could get out. But tonight, sitting alone in a coffee shop reading your blog is glorious!! glad you made it beth...great review.

  9. I am going to go read your race report. I loved the movie ! I am so happy I got to see it and on my 42nd birthday so I made my non running husband come with me and it was the best! People clapped at the end!

  10. Love the story!

    Love the poem!

    They have wine (and hard alcohol, and real food) at some of the theaters here in LA :)

  11. Have run many short relays and a 24hour relay (on the track 1 mile at a time, 10 men to a team) love the idea of "resting" for an hour before setting off again.
    would love to do that relay, the mad rush and excitment of following the race.

  12. Beth—I'll run hood to coast with you any day.

  13. Yeah, I hate those cameras that put the words in the middle of my picture too! I missed the movie but it will be in my Netflix queue....

  14. I read your review yesterday and loved it. I totally forgot about the one girls comment, "I am wearing the same medal as team Nike", that was pretty cool. Your story of running it was just as good. It must have been nice to revisit it since you lived it.

  15. I can't wait to go see the HtC movie, all this talk is making me think that I NEED to do this race this year (with everyone else I am sure).

  16. I want to see that movie so badly!! I love Boulder too, I am a few thousand miles away, but that town gives me the warm fuzzies!

  17. I've never done a relay.. I want too!! although I get cranky without my coffee

  18. awesome story ... isn't that neat that Ken could come too!

    You look like a 16 year-old with that hood on!

  19. I'm adding another bullet mark to my "life list of things to do". Now I just have to convince 12 other people to do it with me.

  20. H2C, Dean, Athleta, Boston, stress factures... Damn girl, running has been both good and not so good for you, but what a ride. SO very cool. P.S. Good review! And what an adventure. How about a Peaks to Plains relay or Run the Rockies, different routes each year.

  21. I remember when you did this! Too freaking cool!!!

  22. That would be awesome to be surrounded in a movie theater with a bunch of runners!

  23. I am going to have to check this movie out. I LOOVVEE a good running movie (I really hate a bad one). I am also going to have to come back to this post tonight (when I am not at work acting busy) so that I can check out all the links you have posted within the post...lots of cool things to read.

  24. awesome story.

    awesome poem.


  25. A movie theater just opened up near me that DOES serve wine. They have a full bar. And they have tables in the theater and will serve your meal during the show.


  26. You are my here and not just because you fart and ken has fart in the queue ready to go, but because you do things on the whim of it. Figure out the rest after and that is how life should be lived. One huge adventure after the other and don't stress the failures as they'll just make you stronger and appcreciate the successes even more.

  27. You're such a BAMF for getting to run H2C with that team. Also? You're totally right, Boulder is a pretty boss city... then again, I'm biased :P

  28. My jealousy runs deep.

  29. I managed to see HTC here in MA before the snow gods descended on us later that night. What a great movie! I snuck in with my raisins, protein bar and water. And yes, to be surrounded by other runners was pretty awesome.

    Great review by the way!

  30. I remember when you won that contest!!!

    And I LOVED the movie. Loved that other runners were there too. MY people!!!

  31. Yay! You are amazing... sounds like the whole thing was amazing. And I loved that poem! :)

  32. That movie was freaking epic! :) I totally forgot you ran it! :) Time flies!!! I want to run it now SO bad!