Aug 14, 2019
If you have participated in a large race event, such as a marathon, 5K, triathlon, or relay, you’re familiar with the participant experience.
We show up, run, bike, experience the glory of the finish line, get our medal, enjoy a post-race beer and head home with our amazing event memories.
What we don’t see is the HOURS, weeks, and months of work done by event organizers and countless volunteers. Sure, we train and give up time with our families and Netflix accounts, but we really don’t understand half of what goes on behind the scenes with some of these events.
Not anymore, friends!
The Peek, a behind-the-scenes podcast series by AfterShokz. In this 3-part series, we take you behind the curtain to get the inside scoop on what it takes to put on some of the most premier endurance events.
In this first installment of The Peek, we’re exploring all of the insane work that goes into putting on the mother of all relay races, the granddaddy of grind, where van-life meets runners meets volcano meets Pacific-Coast. That’s right - we’re peeking under the hood of the Hood to Coast Relay!
Starting on the potentially active stratovolcano, Mt. Hood, 65 miles east of downtown Portland, and running 199 miles west to the Pacific Coast, Hood to Coast features 1,050 teams of 6-12 people, roughly 12,600 runners, and 3,600 volunteers!
But it’s not just the sheer number of people or miles that make this race a daunting enterprise to execute. Along those 199 miles are countless highways, rural roads, municipalities, neighborhoods, towns, and other stakeholders that the race has to accommodate. There are also several “exchange points,” where all 1,050 team vans all converge to pass the baton on to their teammates.
To get a sense of what it takes to put on Hood to Coast, we talked with Hood to Coast’s Chief Operating Officer, Dan Floyd and VP of Sales, Tina Wood, to hear more about the organization that pulls off this Herculean feat year after year.
We also talked with Kelly Buechler, Executive Director of Providence Portland Medical Foundation, the race’s primary charitable partner and beneficiary, who shares some of the amazing work Providence Medical Center has accomplished through Hood to Coast’s support.
And finally, to get some stories from the front row, we talked with Steve and Becky Hanamura. Steve is a runner who was born blind and has run Hood to Coast for the last 29 years, and Becky has run exchange 12 – arguably the most complicated and difficult exchange point – for the last 25 years.
Between Dan, Tina, Kelly, Steve, and Becky - they’ve seen Hood to Coast grow from a concept to an upstart event, to an international phenomenon.
If you’ve been looking to accomplish something BIG, embark on an amazing adventure with 11 friends, and see one of the most beautiful areas of the United States, we’re sure you’ll want to hear more about Hood to Coast. You can download the episode here, and if this episode pushes you over the edge, you can learn more about how to enter the Hood to Coast lottery here.
Thanks for listening - we hope you enjoy episode one of The Peek!