Hood to Coast Rally

Portland, OR//Aug. 28-29

Feb 24, 2009
Outside Magazine

Bad news: You'll be running 197 miles nonstop from Mount Hood to the Pacific Ocean. Good news: You have 11 teammates to help. Use them wisely. The 36 relay legs average five and a half miles, but the two best runners should take the fifth and ninth positions— the hardest and longest shifts overall—while the slowest racer should take the first, the descent from Mount Hood. Key tip for the downhills: Vaseline on your feet. "Blisters knock people out of the race more than anything else," says race founder Robert Foote. Pack your two chase vehicles well—beware of the long rural stretches with few amenities like food and gas—and don't forget your map. $95 per runner; hoodtocoast.com

From the smallest charity 5K to the Tour de France, every race begins as someone's dream. For advice on launching your own event, we spoke with the man behind 24 Hours of Moab, Laird Knight, who's been promoting races for 25 years.

Pick the Right Spot Getting insurance is pretty easy; there are standard policies. But land access will make or break you—dealing with private owners, the state, etc. Just know going in that this will be a lot of work. Also, do you have water and electricity or will you have to bring it in? That's a lesson I learned the hard way. The 24 Hours of Moab site is 12 miles from the nearest utility.
Get Volunteers Be enthusiastic, and share that. If you know where you want to go, people will help you get there. And take good care of them. Tell them what they're going to do and for how long, feed them, give them a memento, and thank them.
Prepare to Spend It's a labor of love, for sure. At best, you lose money the first two years, break even the third, maybe earn back in year four what you lost the first two, then go into the black in year five.
Lose the Jerks Listen to complaints, especially if they're offered with good intentions. But if someone is just mean and mistreats you or your staff, ban them. Remember, you're here for fun.

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