Hood to Coast Movie Review


Last night was a fabulous day in runner nerd (aka runnerd) land, as the Hood to Coast movie was playing all across the country.  For those of you not in the know, Hood to Coast is one of the more well known relays, where people are on a team (usually 10-12 people, depending on the relay) and take turns running (hence the “relay” idea) a distance that various, but usually ends up around 200 miles.  Hood to Coast is twelve person teams covering 197 miles, and it is a huuuuuge event with over 1,000 teams running.  That’s a crazy amount of runners! 

I think I forgot to mention that I’m doing the Reach the Beach Relay in Massachusetts at the end of May with a bunch of fabulous NYC runners.  As a relay team bonding event (with no running involved), we met up for appetizers (emphasis on the fried pickles) and then headed over to the movie together.  I’ve admittedly never attempted to go to the movies with fifteen-ish people…we took up over half a row!  That’s kind cool.  The whole runner movie idea reminded me of watching the Spirit of the Marathon in the theater right before the 2007 Chicago Marathon (of death!).  It was a little different because most people at Spirit of the Marathon were getting ready to run two days later, but it was fun to see some people wearing Reach the Beach shirts to the movie.

In a nutshell:  The movie was fantastic!  I thought it was really interesting and actually made me laugh and made some others cry.  They followed five different teams:  a group of masters runners who have been doing Reach the Beach for over 20 years, a team who randomly signed up for it having no idea what it actually involved, a team honoring their family member/friend who had a heart attack at age thirty and died, a team of older women, one of who had a heart attack during Reach the Beach the year before, and a team of elite runners (who they hardly mentioned).  Seeing the race from so many different perspectives was awesome and really helped make the movie.  Plus, it got me soooooo excited to run the relay in May!  I’m a geek and may have been smiling for 90% of the movie.

Highlights of the movie:

  • The beautiful course.  If anyone ever needs anyone to be on their team for this one, sign me up and I’ll find a way to be there!
  • The non-runner who said that running a hard leg in the middle of the night was absolutely awesome.  I can’t wait for some late night runs during the relay!
  • Seeing what running means to different people.  Some relay members have been running their entire lives while others were doing it to honor family members.  Running means something different to me than it does to you, and I love hearing about those differences.
  • Runners are nuts.  I LOVE IT.
  • One of the non-runners ate a Gu on camera and had the exact same reaction I always have…”This is disgusting.”  Then I usually vomit it back up.  (Okay, it’s not really vomit since I never swallow.  But Gu and I are not friends.)
  • I need to start incorporating power arches into my running lifestyle.  Look it up/watch the movie.
  • Running will always be a part of my life…people may slow down as they age, but they’re still runners.  I just hope the heart attacks stay away.


It was sooooo good!  I definitely recommend it if you’re a runner or if you want to give someone a glimpse into our crazy minds.  :)  I always thought a relay would be a great time with fun people, but now I know it’s going to be awesome!  Not sure if the movie is going to be released on DVD or reshown in theaters, but check it out if you can!

Have you ever run one of these long distance relays?  Did you get a chance to check out the movie last night?  My longest relay ever was the distance medley relay in high school…I ran the mile.  :)

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  1. says

    Even though this is the first year RTB is featuring a spring race, the fall edition has been around for some time and I believe is the oldest relay behind H2C. I’ve run RTB in the fall 3 times and it just gets better each one, we’re going to have a blast!!

  2. Ida says

    I wanted to see that movie, but found out about at the last minute. hopefully it’ll be on hulu soon!
    I did a 4 person marathon relay once, and it was fun. it was hard to get a group together though with people getting hurt, or having other things come up. I do really want to do hood to coast though!

  3. says

    oh you’ve made me so excited to see this! I love a good nerdy yet inspiring run movie.
    Good luck at the reach the beach, i’ve heard thats an awesome event!

  4. says

    I’m so disappointed that I missed the film. Hopefully it’ll be out on DVD soon! I hope to run a relay sometime, they sound amazing! I hope you and your team have a great time!

  5. says

    Hood to Coast sounds like a great movie. A relay sounds like a really fun idea..I’d probably prefer trying a shorter one first, but I like the idea of running on a team. :)

  6. says

    I’m bummed I missed this movie! I’ve done the 100 on 100 in Vermont two summers, it’s a 100 mile relay down route 100. SO. MUCH. FUN. I want to branch out and try some new running relays this season for sure.

  7. says

    So fun:) I’ve done 3 relays: RTB, Hood to Coast 2006 (I captained that one), and Ragnar New England last year – and now RTB with our crew. Relays are just such a different animal – the less competitive teams are definitely the ones that have more fun as evidence from the movie (and yes power arches MUST happen).

  8. Jennifer says

    I’ve done The Relay in CA (Calistoga to Santa Cruz) – it was so much fun!! I did it with a bunch of co-workers (crazy accountants) in 2000. We had a blast teasing/taunting the other teams, making fun of each other in the vans and just laughing and being goofy. The group evolved over the years but they are still doing it every year! I haven’t done it since but I’d love to do another relay – especially Hood to Coast!

  9. says

    I wish I had seen it! Hopefully it will be available on Netflix. Doing Hood to Coast has always been a dream (well, not always, but since I heard of it!). Maybe it’s better not to have seen it, since I will just yearn to do it even more. I’ve done two relays, one in northern WI and one in NJ, and they are AWESOME. The Wisconsin one ended in a big cafeteria with a keg, which was a nice touch.

  10. says

    AWESOME REVIEW!!! I want to see that so bad. Promise me that someday we can do a relay race together?!?! Oh I hate gu’s too!! Glad your running mojo is coming back and I loved the picture with you and your friends! GORGEOUS!

  11. says

    saw the movie and loved it! And ran “The Relay” last year and loved it! It was one of the craziest, weirdest, most exhausting and most fun things I have done :) I think every runner should do one!

  12. says

    I loved the movie, especially after doing “The Relay” brought back lots of fond memories. You’re going to have a great time doing Reach the Beach!

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