Race History Established in 1982
Hood To Coast Relay History
A group of running friends were looking to test themselves in a fresh new challenge. That’s when Bob’s mind (who had also run 35 marathons and 13 ultras) starting churning and came up with the idea of running from nearby Mount Hood, the backdrop for the City of Portland where his family lived, to another favorite weekend get-away…the beach! A group of 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. Simple spray paint marks were made on the road to indicate exchange points, exactly every five 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.
Today, the Hood To Coast Relay has filled its team limit for the last 29 years, and on “Opening Day” for the last 22 years!
In 2006, Felicia Hubber, came on-board the Hood To Coast organization as Race Director, and continues today, overseeing event logistics, the incredible staff, and long term vision for the race. Felicia ran in Hood To Coast six times, and has attended or assisted in the race 35 of the last 38 years. The “Mother of All Relays” looks to continue for many years to come, with a vision for adventure, equity, and continuous improvement at the forefront.
Portland To Coast Walk Relay History
30 years ago, Hood To Coast organizers were approached separately by two women asking to participate in the Hood To Coast as casual, non-competitive walk teams. Event organizers evaluated the logistics and feasibility, and came up with the idea of having the two teams start in downtown Portland, and travel from that point with the Hood To Coast course to Seaside. The two teams walked and LOVED the event, but didn’t end up going out for a casual stroll. The competitive shot-gun apparently signaled the start of a “real” race that was definitely heard by both teams. Along the course, a competitive fire was lit between the two teams. One of the team members at the beach said, “We raced as hard as our bodies would carry us. We just couldn’t let that other team beat us.” And at that moment, although unofficially, the Portland To Coast Walk was born!
The next year, the Portland To Coast Walk Relay became official and jumped to 22 teams. It has grown in popularity ever since, and each year, reaches its capacity of 400 walk teams on or near Opening Day of Registration in October. 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, the Hood To Coast founder brought to fruition a long time desire to support high school youth in pursuing life-long fitness. At the time, Bob’s daughter was in high school. He wanted an avenue, similar to 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 the High School Challenge Relay kicked off, with HTC underwriting the cost of entry to teams of kids, ages 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, groups 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!
2020 celebrates the 39th annual Hood To Coast Relay & 30th Anniversary Portland To Coast Walk!
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 Institute 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 Institute 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!
2017: Hood To Coast traversed 199 miles and Portland To Coast 130 miles. Participants came from all 50 states and 43 countries! Over $750,000 was raised to help the Providence Cancer Institute research and patient advocacy programs. The inaugural and annual Hood To Coast China and HTC Taiwan Relays each took place to great fanfare!
2018: The Hood & Portland To Coast Relay participants and organization helped fundraise over $850,000 to help residents affected by cancer with the Providence Cancer Institute. The annual Hood To Coast China, Taiwan, and Israel Relays were incredibly successful, and enthusiastically embraced by a broader audience, garnering international media attention.
2019: Nearly $900,000 is raised to help immunotherapy research and patient programs with the Providence Cancer Institute! Two full teams of blind runners complete Hood To Coast, and the event becomes a Certified B Corp!