Hood to Coast is a cult-famous 200-mile relay race from Mount Hood to Pacific City, OR. A few Dallas runners have waited years for their moment.
An adrenaline junkie’s dream. Being part of a select but really irrelevant fraternity. An epic race. Ridiculous. Awesome. Just a few words subjects in the documentary feature Hood to Coast use to describe the 200-mile relay race from Mount Hood in Portland, OR to the “quaint costal town” of Pacific City, OR.
It would be an understatement to say that the event, founded by ultramarathoner Bob Foote in 1982, has become a quirky cult attraction in which mere participation is no easy feat.
Just ask Lake Highlands resident Chris Stratton, who for years has tried and failed to get into this race.
That’s when it all started, Stratton says. He, his wife Meredith and four friends formed the core team (eventually there would be 12 members) and called themselves Team Cereal Killers.
But members of TCK waited three years to get accepted. When they did, “we were relieved,” Stratton says. It wasn’t hard to fill out the team, he says. “It was like a mob of Black Friday shoppers. All our running friends wanted to be on Team Cereal Killers.”
On registration day each year, Hood to Coast organizers receive about 2,500 applications and accept less than half of those through a lottery system, according to the HTC website.
Now that Team Cereal Killers—made up of Dallas runners from Lake Highlands, East Dallas and Preston Hollow—are in, the fun begins.
At 6:30 a.m. Friday, Preston Hollow resident Greg Brink — team name Greg Nuts — will tackle the first leg of the race. Team members switch off every several miles, running day and night until they reach the finish, sometime Saturday. In addition to the running team, volunteers — including Pat Metcalf Johnson, a.k.a. Cocoa Pat, of Lake Highlands — drive a van stocked with food, drinks, clothes, first-aid supplies and room for weary runners to rest, etc.
The runners include Chris and Meredith Stratton, Heather Williams, Kristi Madden, Haakon Donnelly, Nick and Lauren Cureton, East Dallasites Allyson Gump and Brent Yost, Leslie Truelove and Greg and Ann Marie Brink.
The quirk factor is big at Hood to Coast. See, for instance, last year’s Storm Troopers in skivvies group.
TCK got as far as creating a kickass logo and putting it on some koozies and making magnets for the team van, Stratton says, but the extent of costume will be T-shirts emblazoned with each member’s TCK name (Chrispix. Rice Kristies, Raisin Ann, Frankenmerry, Lauren Charms, Cinnamon Yost Crunch, Heathercomb, Special H, Honey Nick Cheerios, Leslios, Golden Gumps … you get the idea). No tight-y whities or helmets for our Big D representatives.
Based on the photos Stratton emailed, training for the run consists mostly of carb loading on beer and/or wine at local haunts such as Goodfriend and Times Ten. Just kidding, of course. These folks have been training hard through the summer. I’ve seen them with my own eyes, running at White Rock Lake in the blazing heat.
Dallas-stuck fans can keep up with the race and see more silly photos on the Hood to Coast Facebook page.
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