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Hood To Coast Relay History

Race founder, Bob Foote, needed a new challenge. As a 35 time marathoner and 13 time ultra-marathon runner, Bob and his running friends were looking to test themselves in a fresh new challenge. That's when Bob's creative mind starting churning and came up with the idea of running from nearby Mount Hood, the backdrop for the City of Portland in which he lived, to another favorite weekend get-away...the beach! A group of Bob's running friends and competitors would form relay teams, handing off every 5 miles, starting at Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood and finishing in the quaint coastal town of Pacific City. As a dedicated runner, Bob knew it was something he and his fellow running enthusiasts would enjoy as a challenging, unique, and truly memorable experience!

The first Hood To Coast Relay took place, August 7, 1982 on a full moon, with 8 teams of 10 runners. Bob made simple spray paint marks on the road to indicate exact exchange points, (being a perfectionist architect, this meant exactly every 5 miles). This translated to one exchange point being in the middle of a very busy intersection in Portland!

Word got out of the adventurous Hood To Coast Relay, and the race began to take on a life of its own. As HTC grew each year, it necessitated safer exchange points with more ample parking, resulting in varying leg lengths that continue today. In 1989, the event outgrew capacity for the town of Pacific City and moved to the beachside community of Seaside, Oregon. The distance of the event then increased to 199 miles, with teams growing in size to 12 members, in order to accommodate the extra mileage.

The Hood To Coast Relay has filled its team limit for the last 26 years, and on "Opening Day" for the last 19 years!

In 2006, Felicia Hubber, Bob's daughter and a long-time runner, came on-board the Hood To Coast organization as President, taking on many of the responsibilities for the event. Felicia has participated in the race six times, and attended or assisted in the race 33 of the last 36 years. Thus the Hood To Coast tradition as the "Mother of All Relays" looks to continue for many years to come!


Portland to Coast Walk Relay History

Twenty-seven years ago, Hood To Coast founder Bob Foote was approached separately by two women asking to participate in the Hood To Coast as casual, non-competitive walk teams. Not wanting to deny their request, Bob evaluated the logistics and feasibility, and came up with the idea of having the two teams start in downtown Portland, and travel the remaining 129 miles of the HTC course to Seaside. The two teams walked and LOVED the event, but to everyones surprise, didn't end up going out for a casual stroll. The competitive shot-gun apparently signaled the start of a "real" race that was definitley heard by both teams. Along the course, a fierce competition developed between the two teams. One of the team members at the beach told Bob, "We raced as hard as our bodies would carry us. We just couldn't let that other team beat us." And at that moment, Bob knew that although unofficially, the Portland To Coast Walk had been born!

The next year, the PTC Walk jumped to 22 teams! At the finish, almost every team protested against another for various offenses, but most commonly, for running. It was such a problem for Bob Foote, he decided to make the following year a “non-competitive walk." Bob said, "The goal is to get from Portland to Seaside. Just have fun!” Post-race brought an almost unanimous demand to bring back the competitive aspect, as it stands today. The walk teams take on an incredible challenge, and should be proud to be part of the largest walk relay in the world and one of Oregon's largest walking events of any kind!


Portland To Coast High School Challenge History

In 1998, Hood To Coast founder Bob Foote brought to fruition a long time desire to support high school youth in pursuing life-long fitness. At the time, his daughter was a junior in high school. He wanted an avenue, similar to The Hood To Coast for students, such as his daughter, to participate in and enjoy as a team. Why should adults get to have all the fun anyway? Thus Foote kicked off the High School Challenge, underwriting the cost of entry to teams of kids, age 18 and under. Since its start in 1997, the 50 team limit has been reached, with teams of 12 forming from high school cross country teams, parties of friends, church groups, and others from the Northwest and across the country! The High School Challenge runners enthusiasm for the race is contagious, as you know if you've seen any of them competing and cheering along the course!

2018 will celebrate the 37th annual Hood To Coast Relay

The Mother of All Relays!




Hood To Coast/Portland To Coast  Historical Timeline

1982: Birth of Hood To Coast Relay, running from Mt. Hood to Pacific City, Oregon. Eight teams of 10 compete. Click to read a journal/blog from a member of the first year (and winning) HTC team!

1983: By word of mouth alone, H2C grows to 64 teams. Team ‘Road Kill’ wins 165 mile relay in 15:29.

1984: H2C jump to 150 teams.  ‘PAC-NW’ wins 170 mile trek in 14:47.

1985: H2C shoots up to 237 teams. ‘Portland Running Club’ wins in 14:43

1986: H2C grows to 408 teams. Use of batons and commemorative medals begins. ‘Coastline Cruisers’ women win in 18:20, ‘Killer B’s’ men’s team wins in 14:37.

1987: H2C hosts over 500 teams. ‘Coastline Cruisers’ women and ‘Killer B’s’ men’s team maintain domination, come in first in their categories.

1988: 14:30 winning time by dominant H2C team, ‘The Killer B’s’.  ‘Skedattlin’ Seattleans’ women’s team wins in 18:40.

1989: Race outgrows capacity for Pacific City finish; moves to current location in Seaside.  Requirement of three volunteers per local team set.  750 team limit.

1990: “Electric Mile” along Waterfront Park in Portland awards runners with most outrageous outfit.  Race seeding method revised.  750 H2C team limit.

1991: 10th Anniversary of H2C.  Father/son duo completes the race (96 miles each). P2C Walk is launched thanks to the inspiration of two competitive women!

1992: ‘Black Flag’ team wins overall in 16:03 upsetting longtime winner, ‘The Killer B’s’. H2C capped at 750 H2C teams.

1993: Elite wheelchair racing team participates in H2C.

1994: MTV Rollerblade team allowed to participate one time only.

1995: Nike & Alberto Salazar’s ‘Mambu Baddu’ elite team smashes H2C course record at 15:45:55, average of 4:51 per mile! Cindie McKenna runs first solo H2C!

1996: Temporary bridge over Hwy 202 in Seaside created. Fundraising partnership with American Cancer Society begins.  15th year of Hood To Coast!

1997: Team limit of 875 reached.  Volunteer Training session implemented. Mary Decker-Slaney runs on Nike Elite Women’s team, breaking record.

1998: H2C fills for the first time in one day. Hood To Coast website launched! ABC television one hour special on the race.  P2C High School Challenge comes to fruition.

1999: H2C capped at 1,000 teams. Five H2C category records set, eight P2CW category records set, including winning team who averaged walking 9:20 per mile.

2000: Oregon Governor Kitzhaber runs in H2C. ‘Caminata USA Racewalking’ walk team averages 9 minute miles.  Couple married at race start, part of honeymoon spent running H2C.  Five H2C category records set, P2C Walk course record smashed, High School Challenge course records set in all three categories!

2001: H2C reaches milestone 20th year! The ‘High Fibres’ men’s walk team from B.C. Canada, breaks P2C walk record by over 4 hours, in 19:28!

2002: H2C Mixed Masters and P2C Walk Mixed Masters course records set.

2003: Economic impact analysis shows H2C and P2C events result in more than $26 million for Oregon state economy.

2004: 12 countries represented with teams in Hood To Coast Relay.

2005: P2C Walk celebrates its 15th birthday, ranked as the largest walking relay in the world!

2006: H2C 25th Anniversary! Over $107,000 raised for American Cancer Society.

2007: 33 countries represented with teams in H2C. Green/sustainability initiatives launched (including on-course recycling). Race bib fundraising sticker program launched, helping raise $224,000 for American Cancer Society. 

2008: Film documenting the epic Hood To Coast and four teams is filmed during the race.  $290,000 fundraised by participants, sponsors, race for American Cancer Society.

2009: Hood To Coast maintains itself as the largest running relay in the world. $360,000 fundraised by participants, sponsors, race for American Cancer Society.

2010: $500,000 fundraised to support the American Cancer Society! 20th anniversary P2C Walk Relay.  OfficeMax becomes Title Sponsor of H2C.

2011: 30th Anniversary of The Mother of All Relays! ‘Hood To Coast’ movie is released for nationwide release to rave reviews. 1,250 OfficeMax H2C team limit, 4,100 volunteers, 576 Honey Bucket porta-potties. 20,400 runners and walkers.  35 countries and all 50 states represented.  $517,000 raised for American Cancer Society.

2012:  Toyo University team flys in from Japan to handily win Hood To Coast. MuscleMilk becomes Title Sponsor of the P2C High School Challenge and LifeMap becomes Title  Sponsor of P2C Walk Relay.  A huge new record, $634,000 fundraised to support cancer research/patient advocacy programs.

2013:  Providence Cancer Center becomes the Hood To Coast/Portland To Coast exclusive charity partner.  Over $800,000 was raised to support cancer programs through the race, and a newly redesigned beach party was unveiled! 

2014: Olympic athletes, Ashton Eaton, Lopez Lomong, and Josh Cox participate in Hood To Coast. Over 2,800 teams applied for 1,050 entries on the one "Opening Day" of registration. 

2015: A year of 90 mph wind gusts at the beach caused the Finish Party to adapt to a new temporary scenario, finishing on the prom and down Broadway Avenue in Seaside. Participants first day brought mild weather, but on day 2 they braved 30-40 mph wind gusts on course and heavy rain..showing grit, determination and a positive spirit throughout!

2016: An incredible relay weekend, with over $600,000 raised for the Providence Cancer Center to help cancer research and patient programs, celebrities having a blast participating- like Kevin Hart, and the announcement of a partnership with Yao Ming's Starz Sports to produce the first international H2C China in the coming year!

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