Thursday, February 2, 2012

Review; Hood to Coast, the movie

imageI missed Hood to Coast when it went in general release last year so when I was contacted to review the DVD I jumped at the chance, let’s be honest there are not a lot of movies about running so it’s good to see the ones there are.

For those of you who have not heard about Hood to Coast here’s a overview taken from the films website:

The annual Hood To Coast Relay has run every year since 1982. The race started as an inauspicious event for a group of dedicated runners to stretch their legs and expand on the everyday running experience. Bob Foote, the race founder, had run track with the famous Men of Oregon at the University of Oregon. Marathons had lost their appeal, and to keep himself interested in the sport he loved, he decided to organize an unheard of adventure, running from Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood to the Oregon Coast.

The idea was that 12 people would divide themselves into two groups of six, run three legs each and cover the nearly 200 mile distance from the mountain to the ocean. Running all through the night, it was an adventure for hard-core runners and sleep was secondary to striving for their fastest time.

In 1982 only 8 teams ran, but within a decade, the race had grown to the point where they had to cap the number of teams at 1000. The route shifted to avoid heavily trafficked highways as they needed to find convenient stopping points for the thousands of vans that now made their way through the Oregon countryside.

More importantly, the race had become an adventure not only for serious athletes, but amateur runners and thrill seekers. Team names began to describe not only the origins of the team, but the attitude they would carry with them on the course. Today, teams decorate their vans and take on a race persona, lending a carnival atmosphere to the nearly 200 miles of the race.

Sounds like fun right! In the spirit a picture is worth a 1000 words here’s the trailer;

So on with the review. The film is well made, the production quality is high and overall it makes for really interesting viewing, it’s a good mix of perspectives, history and interviews. The problem was with my expectations, I had set them in the wrong place. What I had failed to realize is that the movie follows four teams rather than the race and this I think is why I was left a little disappointed. The human element of the four teams is interesting to a point and they do cover the gamut of the teams; an over 50 female team; Heart N Sole, a rookie runners team; Thunder and Laikaning, veteran runners; The Dead Jocks and a team running to remember a team mate who died; RBowe.

There are the usual high and lows and funny and sad moments but the excitement of the “race” is lost, after all this is a race and by all standards a really competitive one and this element is given minimal coverage.

Overall I did enjoy the movie but I would sum it up as a movie that follow four teams that run a race rather than a movie about a race and the teams that run it.

It’s available to buy through their website here or you can rent it through Amazon Online here. These are the only places that I could find it although it is listed in Netflix it’s not available yet.

This product was provided free of charge by Hood to Coast. If you have a product you’d like reviewed, contact me at


  1. I would like the copy, I haven't see the movie and would like too. Let me know. Thanks Sturat.

  2. I really would like to see this movie.

  3. The trailer brought tears to my eyes. My past experience doing the Relay from Calistoga to Santa Cruz has been such a blast. This looks like ever more fun.

  4. Gotta put that on my list to see


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