My first relay was a 200 mile, through the night kind of relay. I’ve done several more since because I love the energy, journey, scenery, and camaraderie of the team relay. However, it is a big time, money and physical commitment. If only I could have the good bits without the overnight, stinky van, and logistical frustration bits. Oh wait…I can! It’s called the Gorgeous Hood to Hood Relay!
Hood to Hood Relay
The Gorgeous Series has mastered the abbreviated long distance relay with several events like the Hood to Hood Relay. Typically there are 6 runners who each run two legs (12 legs total) and the distance covered is about 50 to 60 miles. You only need one vehicle for your team and one running outfit! Praise Jesus.
THIS YEAR HOWEVER, the Hood to Hood Relay was shortened to 10 legs (next year it’ll be 12). Therefore a full team capped out at 5 runners. No complaints here! We used our extra seat to bring the baby along because, well, the sooner he learns how to relay, the better.
For my part, I did myself proud as runner #1. I averaged a 9:45 pace for my 3.5 mile leg. I think I passed two runners. My second leg was 4.23 mile with a 9:18 average pace. Passed one and got passed by one.
The course will change (re: improve) next year. I believe it will start at “the top” at Timberline Lodge (more downhill) and also make use of some trails instead of the narrow-shouldered mountain highway for a few legs. Also there will be no “Instagram Leg” where your runner hops back in the van for a mile or so before hopping back out to finish their leg.
Live vicariously through our team video!
Video Correction: It took us 7 hours to complete. I’m bad at simple maths.
Best things about the relay:
- Beautiful place to run. Just doesn’t get much better than Mt Hood and Hood River all in one day.
- Well organized – although the race was small this year with maybe 25 teams? Getting in and out of exchanges was such a breeze and no one got lost ever.
- All the fun and none of the hassle. You get that great accomplishment feeling of the longer relay, but still have a happy stomach and good energy at the end to truly enjoy the finish line celebration with your team.
- Our 14 month old did great! He got two little naps in the car. He flirted with some running ladies. It was a long day for him and he was such a trooper.
Worst things about the relay:
- Few potty options. As a small event, there was no guarantee of a port-a-potty at each exchange. Fortunately they did indicate where bathroom stops would be available in the course guide. I’d like more potty options next time.
- Fewer runners to pass. Or be passed by. When the event grows, there will be more people on the course to “run with” and that is part of the fun for me.
- No official timing. I didn’t realize this until the finish line. I’m not super competitive but I do want to know if we “beat” certain teams we were leap frogging with. Especially those badass gray-haired grannies we struggled to chase down. #grannygoals
- No real team theme. That was my fault for being so last-minute on a team name and theme. We didn’t even decorate the van. Next time.
You gotta try it.
I highly recommend the one day relay format and you can check out all the Gorgeous Series events on their website. The finish medals were huge and beautiful and we got a great pint glass for our free Pfriem Brewing beer.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Hood to Hood Relay. I’m going to see if I can get on a team for their Wine Country relay next month!