I might be wrong – and it might be the first time – but nothing seems as popular for runners in Oregon than the annual Hood To Coast relay race.
The total distance is 197 miles, beginning at Timberline Lodge and ending on the beach in Seaside the following day. More than 17,000 folks compete, including Bruce and Kristi. I usually get a sense of when it’s coming up, because they’ll be talking about training for it. But I’ve never really been dialed into photographing it, that is until today.
I cherry-picked a couple moments up near the starting line. I have to say, driving along Hwy. 26 with a steady stream of runners on the side of the road made me a little nervous as a driver.
The race passes through Portland and not to far from my home. Bruce had suggested checking out the scene there at night, so I did.
So, this is how Bruce (#804) celebrated his 35th birthday. As it turned out, he was running to this relay exchange point. I didn’t see him until after he had tagged a teammate. That boy is fast! He’s out for pizza right now with his team, loading up on carbs for his next leg in a few hours.
Perhaps like these distance runners, I paced myself today. Ideally, I would spend the entire two days hanging with a team and documenting the entire experience: sleeping in a van, waiting for a teammate to arrive, celebrating personal accomplishments. Maybe I would have been motivated more if I were shooting this for a publication. But being away from home for a couple weeks means there are a lot of things to take care of. I wanted to see what I had been missing. Plus, there’s always next year.
Happy Birthday, Thunderbird! Hope you get some solid rest tonight.