Tuesday, July 1, 2008

All Things Considered

One of the guys that I work with is running in Oregon's Hood to Coast this summer.  The Hood to Coast is an annual race, sponsored by Nike. 


(Side note:  Did you know Nike is headquartered just outside of Portland in the lovely little suburb with a terrible name--Beaverton?  That's not what the sign says as you enter Beaverton, but SSG thinks it should.  Either that or "Don't Hold Our Name Against Us."  And did you also know the guy that started Nike, Phil (thank you "anonymous!") Knight, used to be a track coach at University of Oregon?  The only way SSG knew that is she had a mad crush on Jared Leto and watched the movie Prefontaine.  Now if Ben Affleck & Matt Damon could just make a movie about Lewis & Clark, she can knock that off her "Things About Oregon I'm Supposed to Know, But Don't" list.)

And um, so where was I again?

Oh yeah ...

So this race starts out at Mt. Hood and ends up in Seaside.  And for those of you not located in Oregon?  That's 197 miles.  Let's take a moment to properly process this information.

RUNNING. FOR ONE. HUNDRED. AND. NINETY. SEVEN. MILES. 

(Lewis & Clark didn't even do that.  I don't think ... Ben?  Matt?)

Teams run this race--anywhere from 8 - 12 people--truck through Oregon in 3 - 7 mile "legs" (read: "just go ahead and kill me nows") until the finish line.  In an effort to kick the lazies to the curb, each team member has to run at least three just go ahead and kill me nows.

SSG remembers vaguely hearing about this "race" (read:  modern day torture vehicle) but thought it was some kind of urban outdoorsy person's legend.  That is, until she met a real live person who is not only running in this modern day torture vehicle but is "excited" (read:  insane) to do so.  SSG learned about this during happy hour last night and had A LOT of questions.  First and foremost:

WHY?!?!

And next:

You're sure it's not a car race?

And because she respects her coworker and wants to learn about his interests, she decided to ask more questions.  This is what he told her, and SSG is sorry.  She doesn't understand any of it:

  • People VOLUNTEER to do this.  They're NOT being punished for anything.
  • Not only do people volunteer, they PAY.  Like with money.  And blood.  And sweat.  And tears.  And, oh yeah, PAIN.  (But just the money goes to The American Cancer Society.)
  • The race is run in AUGUST.  Like, the hottest month of the year.  SSG is just waiting for Nike to say "Next year, we run Death Valley!"  
  • The modern day torture vehicle has SOLD OUT on Opening Day for the last 17 years.  SSG is wondering if people were confused thinking Opening Day was the start of baseball season?
  • Because you're a "team" (read: group o' crazy) you stay together throughout the race.  If you're not running, you're in a van driving until your leg.  SSG wants to know if the "van" is a Four Seasons sponsored traveling spa?
  • You hardly sleep for 2 days.  At this point SSG was worried that her coworker had been brainwashed and wondered if she should stage an intervention.  But then, there was light at the end of the tunnel ... the 197 mile long torture tunnel.
  • There is a HUGE beach party at the end of the race.  
So taking all things into consideration, SSG put together a "How to Survive the Hood to Coast" primer.

1)  Donate money to the American Cancer Society by clicking here.
2)  The party is on August 23rd.  Driving instructions can be found here.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bill Knight...LOL. You might want to check those facts about Nike.... :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Knight

HalfAsstic.com said...

Wow! Crazies indeed!
Waaaaay too much running to my taste.

bighairenvy said...

Whow are these people and from what planet do they hail?

(Sometimes!) Serendipitous Girl said...

Bill, Phil ... tomato to-mah-toe. I feel he may need his ego checked.

coastrat said...

This is almost like an Iditarod Race in Alaska. Quite a challenge, indeed.