-- Marathon Running Information, Coaching and Advice from Coach Joe English

Races: Final tips for the Hood to Coast Relay

With the Hood to Coast Relay coming this weekend, I thought I would pass along some final tips that should help you have fun with your team-mates out there on the road this weekend.

I previously published an article on the training aspects of preparing for a multi-day relay like Hood to Coast. It may be a little late to implement some of the training suggestions, but for a discussion of pacing considerations during the race, you may want to check it out anyway by clicking here.

I also included a list of tips for success in the race, which I include here are the bottom of this post.

Have fun out there. Hood to Coast is an amazing experience!

Final pre-race preparations
1) Take Wednesday and Thursday off from running in advance of the race. You’ll be racing Friday and Saturday, so you should give yourself the two days before the race off to rest.

2) Friday will be a really long day for most people. If your race start is early in the morning, you’ll likely be up from the crack of dawn on Friday until after the party on Saturday night.

3) Don’t plan on getting any sleep during the race, so get some before the race and get in bed early on Thursday night.

4) Make sure that you are eating plenty of carbohydrates and drinking plenty of water in advance of the race. You want to make sure that you go into the race well hydrated and well fueled. For a basic primer on hydration click here.

5) Pack lightly and try to keep your bag organized. It will be hard to find things when you need them, so don’t bring a bunch of junk that you won’t need. If you do need things for the weekend afterward, put it in a separate small bag so that you don’t have to get into it during the race.

6) Be on-time to the meeting place to avoid giving your team-leader high blood-pressure.

7) Leave early to get to the race start. It takes awhile to get up to the mountain, especially if you have a late start time and you’re driving out the I-84 in Friday afternoon traffic. Your team needs to check in prior to your start time in order to participate in the event.

Other Hood to Coast Tips
1) For those of you running in legs 1, 2, or 3: take it easy. Let the mountain carry you down. The harder that you push yourself on the down-hill sections, the more stiff and sore you’ll be when you have to run again later.

2) Don’t forget your headlamp or flash-light. It will be dark out there!

3) Don’t wander off in the exchange zones. Let people know where you’re going and be ready to get back in the van as soon as your runner comes in. As you get further into the race, the traffic in the zones gets worse and you need more time to get from zone to zone.

4) Eat whenever you can!

5) Be careful running on the darkest parts of the roads. Slow down and watch your footing. The most dangerous aspect of Hood to Coast is likely turning an ankle in a pot-hole at 2:00AM when you’re tired and running in the dark.

6) Don’t expect to get any sleep from the time you wake up on Friday morning, until the end of the party Saturday night. In other words: nap whenever you have the chance.

7) You can get you team thrown out of the race for going to the bathroom in public (in the trees or on the side of the road). Be careful and don’t be stupid about this!

8) Remember at all times you will be confined to a van with five (or six) other progressively smelly and cranky runners, so try to help each other out and have fun!

9) Be sure to thank the volunteers, many of whom are staying up all night so that you can run in the event.

10) Help out your team-mates with the driving and the timing duties. If someone looks too tired to drive, make sure to offer to get behind the wheel and give them a break.

Tips for success in the race
1) Pace yourself. Don’t over-run the first leg, it will kill you in legs 2 and 3.

2) Make sure to stretch after you run your first two legs before getting into the van, to help keep you from getting too sore.

3) Drink plenty of water and electrolytes after and between each of your legs to keep yourself well hydrated and to help avoid cramps.

4) Bring foods that you can eat when you’re hungry that don’t need refrigeration or even utensils to eat. Keep yourself well fed and topped off with food. Some good foods that you might not think of include: dinner rolls (carbs), tuna in the foil pouch (for protein), spaghetti and meatballs in the little cans (carbs and protein), and beef jerky (protein).

5) Try to catch a cat-nap as soon as you’re done with your first leg. It’s easy to want to “stay up” all night cheering people on, but if you finish your first leg and lay down in the back of the van for an hour or so, you’ll feel much better later.

6) Bring two changes of clothes for cool weather (for the mountain and a night run) and three for warm weather. You don’t need much else, but having dry clothes for each run makes you feel so much better than putting dirty clothes back on.

7) Get out of your racing clothes as soon as possible. You’ll feel better, smell better, and don’t risk getting any nasty bacterial infections “down there”.

Related articles:
A Hood to Coast packing list for runners and captains

Preparing for a Multi-leg relay such as Hood to Coast

Coach Joe English, Portland Oregon, USA
Running Advice and News


3 responses so far, want to say something?

  1. 1. Races: A Hood to Coast Packing List « Running Wild with Coach Joe August 23rd, 2007 at 6:20 am

    […] Related articles: Final Tips for the Hood to Coast Relay […]

  2. 2. Races: Packing Lists and Tips for the Hood to Coast Relay | Running Advice and News July 15th, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    […] Related articles: Tips: Final preparations for the Hood to Coast Relay […]

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