Hood to Coast Relay Race Recap

Here is my Hood to Coast Relay Race Recap! But really, there is no way to truly share all the FUN and epicness of a 199 mile relay with 11 other runners. These are the highlights/parts I remember….


(source Runner’s World instagram)

WP_20140822_13_12_16_Pro (800x450)

I was on the Runner’s World belVita Team. The team included RW and belVita employees – including the legendary Bart Yasso and um, me. Not sure how I managed to snag an invite to this party, but I am so glad I did!

hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 47 (800x600) WP_20140822_07_03_24_Pro (800x450)

First thing in the morning we headed up to Mt. Hood. The race starts on the mountain HOOD and goes all the way to the COAST, hence the name.

hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 2 (800x600)

I was in Van 1, runner #2. So, I was ready to run first thing since I would be going on the first hand off.

hood to coast runnersworld belvita team (600x800)

We saw our first runner start and then headed to the hand off so I could get ready.

hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 3 (800x600)

My first leg was all downhill, which I love. I flew down the mountain thanks to gravity. I knew that I would regret going out so fast on leg 2 and 3, but I couldn’t help it. I just focused on keeping my body relaxed and going with it. My pace is super fast for me and I realize that’s as good as it gets so I am okay with it (even though my quads did get super tight after!).


(source Runner’s World instagram)

hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 5 (600x800)

Plus I had to show Bart Yasso I was cool enough to hang out with him! Totally worth the burn.

hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 6 (800x600)

Leg 1 done and done – time to cross it off the list!

hood to coast relay results finish 2 (623x467) (623x467)

Everyone in our van killed their first leg! Beachy was the last runner in our van. We handed off to Van #2 at the transition and wished them luck on their first legs.

WP_20140822_13_03_25_Pro (800x450) hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 7 (800x600) image

(source Scott’s instagram)

By the time we finished our first leg it was around 1pm and we were HUNGRY. We decided food before anything else and were on a mission to get fuel.

hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 46 (800x600)

Someone spotted an Olive Garden and it was pretty much unanimous. We needed to make this happen.

hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 9 (800x600)

We all thought going to the Olive Garden was super funny though – no one had been there in years. So, we needed to toast to the endless salad and breadsticks.

cheers to olive garden (600x450) (600x450)

Follow my Van… Scott, Robert, RER, Steph, Seth and Beachy


WP_20140822_14_08_38_Pro (800x450)

I got this Chicken Abruzzu-something or other dish and it was delicious.

hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 8 (800x600)

From lunch we headed to Portland for a quick shower stop. Yes, you read that right. We had a hotel room to hold our stuff and had about a half an hour to shower leave our gross clothes and meet up with Van 2. Isn’t that fancy?! #PerksofRunningwiththeBigBoys

hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 11 (800x600)

We had some time to wait before the Van 2 back to 1 transition so we hung out, hydrated for our leg and enjoyed the fun HTC ambiance.

hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 13 (800x600)

My second leg was fairly flat with a few rolling hills. But my legs felt pretty heavy from the first downhill leg. It was a little challenging and I didn’t push it because I wanted to save something in the tank for my last DARK leg (because I was scared).

hood to coast relay leg 2 results (681x511) hood to coast relay leg 2 results 1 (681x511)

But, I did try to finish strong and when I got close I sped it up to hand off to Scott. I saw him just a little bit away and heard our team number being called out so he could be ready. He had his arm ready – we took our slap bracelet handoff seriously – so I ran toward him and the volunteer reached out and grabbed me to stop me. They were directing traffic and I guess a car was just given the “go” and I didn’t see or hear it! I had to stop for a second and then made the handoff on the other side of the street.

hood to coast relay leg 2 (681x511)

And it’s a good thing I didn’t die because right after I was done with leg 2 I met reader Jordan! She was actually tackling 4 legs!!

hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 15 (600x800)

Our next runners finished up their legs just as it was getting dark. I thought my second leg would be the dark one, but that’s not how the time worked out this time. Both of my previous relays had me doing my second run at night.

We got our last runner, handed off to the other team and then headed to the next big transition.

hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 16 (800x600)

Robert ready to go for his dark shift.

hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 18 (600x800) hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 19 (800x600)

Check out my insta video for 15 seconds of a handoff.

After our van was done with leg 2 we tried to get some sleep before we had to run again. I came somewhat prepared with a sleep mask and ear plugs. Except I should have brought a heavier jacket because I was freezing.

hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 20 (800x600)

I’m pretty excited that I did get a little tiny bit of sleep – probably about a 40 minute power nap.

But it was quickly our turn to run again. I didn’t want to get out of the car because it was so cold and dark so I talked myself up and rallied.

I told everyone about my first night leg experience and how scared I was to run in the dark. Robert suggested I find someone to run with so as soon as I got the bracelet I took off to catch up with someone. A guy ended up coming up behind me and handing me my blinker that fell off and running ahead. So, I tried (desperately) to stay with him. I heard the miles tick off on my Garmin (but I couldn’t see it at all in the dark of night) 3 times. Finally I had to just fall behind (I kinda think he was pushing it so I couldn’t pass him but I just wanted a friend!). I found someone else and it turns out she was in my favorite van name.

hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 23 (800x600)

She had to walk so I kept going. But I was terrified. I glanced back once to see if anyone was coming up behind me so I could slow to run with them but that was even scarier to just see pitch black behind you.

Moral of the story: Don’t look at where you’ve been, just keep going. #ThatsDeep

hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 21 (600x800)

I finished!!! I just kept thinking “Chase your fears” and I did it.

I was so glad it was over!!! You don’t even know.

After my leg we stopped at a high school to get coffee. I changed there and got eggs. It was delicious – especially since we hadn’t eaten a real meal since yesterday at lunch and it was about 5am at this point.

hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 22 (600x800)

Steph scored pancakes from another quick stop.

WP_20140823_05_45_19_Pro (450x800)

From there I happily enjoyed cheering for my other team members. I had the hard part done and could just enjoy the rest of the relay!!!

hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 25 (600x800) hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 26 (800x600) hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 27 (600x800) hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 28 (600x800) hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 29 (800x600) hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 30 (800x600)

When the last runner of our van was done we high-fived the other team and saw our other van off!

hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 33 (600x800)

I tried one of the soft baked belVita breakfast biscuits in the van too. Have you tried these? I only had the hard ones that come 3 to a pack before. Rumor has it the banana bread flavor is the best.

hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 37 (600x800)

Pro tip: Put some Nutella on a crunchy belVita and your taste buds will thank you.

There are a few transitions with places for people to sleep. One of them even had a whole tent city! This was our last handoff and I just took a peek.

hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 38 (800x600)

Done and tired and headed to the coast!

van 2 (681x511)

The victory lap!

hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 39 (800x600)

And about an hour later we were at the beach! We made it and waited for our teammates to get there.

hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 40 (800x600) hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 41 (800x600)

The Runner’s World belVita team crossed the finish together! We did it!

hood to coast relay resuls finish (681x511) (681x511)

Bart Yasso was our anchor and ran the last leg. He crossed the finish and led us to the beach to get in the water. Ice bath!

hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 42 (800x600) hood to coast runnersworld belvita team 44 (600x800)

I had so so so much fun! It is awesome how running and living in a van together for 24 hours can bring people together!! I consider all my teammates friends now. “We can’t stop!!!” <- not a motivational phrase, an inside joke.

Thank you to Runner’s World, belVita and the awesome people who put up with me for the last 48 hours!

Question: What was the best thing you ate this weekend?

Anyone run? How’d it go?


  1. says

    Looks like you had a blast! :)

    The best thing I ate this weekend was a red curry with chicken, broccoli and spinach that I made. Ridiculously good!

    I had my best trail run maybe ever on Saturday, just shy of 7 miles, and a relaxing 5 TM miles today. A good running weekend!

  2. says

    I went to one of Bobby Flay’s restaurants and had the most amazing dessert: Bourbon Toffee Profiteroles with vanilla bean ice cream. AMAZING!
    Loved reading this post…I just posted some tips for overnight relay races. I’m doing Ragnar Napa Valley in 3 weeks!

  3. Nicole says

    What brand are the mid thigh running shorts you have on and do you like them? I typically wear the Brooks 5 inchers but am always looking for something tight that covers the thigh to cut down on rub…lol. :-)

  4. says

    You are so awesome! Sounds like an amazing experience. My brother flew out from Michigan to run that race, too, and he did 5 legs! I think that’s a little excessive, but that’s him. It does look beautiful, even though the leg in the dark sounds terrifying!

  5. says

    You survived the night leg! Yay!
    Best meal this weekend was yesterday’s dinner at a gourmet burger joint to celebrate my sis and BIL’s birthdays.

  6. says

    I really want to run a relay!! It looked like so much fun. And I love Olive Garden, we don’t have them in Canada (anymore? I’m not sure if we ever did) so I always love to stop at one in the US!

  7. says

    I was following your instagram this weekend and it looked like so much fun. We have a big relay coming up in st. Louis but I’m glad I’m not doing it this year. It’s 98 degrees and so humid my sunglasses fog when I go outside.

  8. says

    Congrats on a great race. Really enjoyed reading this recap. Hood to Coast is high on my list of dream races and really hope to make it there someday!

  9. says

    Oh my gosh this looks like such a fun experience. I’m jealous, I would love to do something like this!

    Had a rough run yesterday morning due to humidity & cramping, BUT made up for it with a good margarita chicken dinner at Chilis :)

  10. Rachel says

    Best thing I ate? Blueberry pancakes with peanut butter and maple syrup. Did I run? Heck yeah! I did a practice half marathon ready for my first official half at the end of September. Furthest I’ve ever run and I am super proud of myself!

  11. says

    congrats!! minus the running in the scary dark, this looks like a lot of fun. love the team camaraderie and the fun team names. hope you had a blast. never tried any belVita anything, actually. best thing i ate this wknd was a homemade veggie burger from a restaurant in the West Village — amazing.

  12. says

    Wow! What amazing pictures. Looks like you had an absolutely fantastic time AND got to rub elbows with Bart which is always a good time. Best thing I ate? Mexican food with the wife last night AND a steak at Shanahan’s Steakhouse in Denver for 5280 restaurant week. I did NOT (sadly) get in a run, as I decided to wait another week to start my running as I’m rehabilitating from four broken ribs and collapsed lung in my last triathlon. SOON!

  13. Molly says

    Thank you for allowing me to live vicariously through your HTC adventure! I walked Portland to Coast last year (my first relay) and had a blast! Glad you had a great time, and I love seeing all the pictures :)

  14. says

    I ran Hood to Coast with Nuun (my first relay) and had an amazing time. Spending 30 hours running 200 miles with 5 other strangers (in my van) really is a quick way to make friends :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *