- Road Race
I ran Hood to Coast as my first relay race with 11 other (awesome) girls. It was a totally unique and amazing experience, and as it was my first relay race, it will be a tough one to beat if I choose to do another in the future.
+ Oregon itself is just absolutely beautiful.
+ Awesome destination race - lots of hiking and other things to do afterwards for vacation
+ Race information was abundant and race management was very attentive and active throughout the race and on social media
+ Overall great course (rolling hills, pretty difficult/worth the travel for the challenge, scenic)
+ Relays are a really interesting and unique experience (though getting more popular)... nothing says "get to know yourself" quite as much as running 5 miles for your team through the woods in the rain with no cell phone service at 3 am.
- Nothing to do with the race itself, and management did their best to handle this well and communicate, but the weather was the worst this year. It rained & was a complete wind storm (the finish line was completely ruined and canceled, which is arguably one of the best parts). Management could have probably prepared for a better finish line alternative.
- CELL PHONE SERVICE IS AWFUL. We didn't have cell service for 15 hours. There were two major van changes during this time that required complete guessing on our part (which was made 10x more difficult due to not being able to communicate during the stormy weather - we would have no idea if the other team was hurt or running really behind, etc- one of our runners waited in the rain for an hour). I didn't realize how hard lack of communication that would make the relay. I would highly suggest H2C sets up wireless internet hubs or SOMETHING at the major exchanges so teams can get in some brief communication with each other, if only for a few moments at that interchange. ...That or figure out a way to help teams plan around this logistically. Suggest walkie talkies for runners, etc.
Overall, a great experience and we raised a lot of money for a great cause along the way.
You can read more about our Hood to Coast relay experience written by another runner on my team here - http://asweatlife.com/2015/09/eight-reasons-to-run-a-relay-race/