Head Start

Spotlight: Hood to Coast

October 16, 2023 Race Directors HQ Episode 65
Head Start
Spotlight: Hood to Coast
Show Notes

First run on a whim in 1982 by Oregon Road Runners Club president Bob Foote with only 8 teams participating in the inaugural race, Hood to Coast has grown from modest beginnings to become a huge success story. More than 40 years on, the race that has come to be known affectionately as “the mother of all relays” now attracts more than a thousand teams from over 40 countries to what is one of the most spectacular 200 mile courses from the top of Mt Hood to the Pacific Ocean.

So what’s the secret sauce? What is it about this race being able to sell out for the last 30 of its 40 odd race editions? And how is it even possible to pull off recruiting 3,600 volunteers, let alone training and managing them to a tee year in, year out with a core team of just a handful of people?

That’s what we’ll be digging into today with the help of my guest, Hood to Coast race director, Felicia Hubber. Felicia, being the daughter of the man who started it all and the person driving Hood to Coast’s expansion both domestically and overseas, has literally grown alongside Hood to Coast, having been born the same year as the inaugural event, and she’ll walk us through what makes Hood to Coast so special in the eyes of the thousands of people taking part, the appeal of the mountain-to-sea race concept, the mind-boggling complexities of putting on a relay race at this size, and Hood to Coast’s unique approach to volunteer recruitment and training.

In this episode:

  • The humble beginnings of the mother of all relays
  • Hood to coast: 200 miles from the top of Mt Hood to the world's largest beach party in 36 hours
  • The complexities of relay events
  • Team-building at relays: reunions, families, military and corporate teams
  • Enforcing HTC's many strict race rules
  • Managing 3,600 volunteers along a 200 mile course
  • HTC's unorthodox approach to volunteer recruitment: requiring local teams to provide 3 volunteers each to qualify
  • Streamlining volunteer training via online video training courses
  • The economics of relay racing for race organizers
  • Transitioning HTC to a B Corp
  • Exporting the mountain-to-sea concept overseas: HTC's international expansion

Thanks to RunSignup for supporting quality content for race directors by sponsoring this episode. More than 28,000 in-person, virtual, and hybrid events use RunSignup's free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. If you'd like to learn more about RunSignup's all-in-one technology solution for endurance and fundraising events visit runsignup.com.

You can find more resources on anything and everything related to race directing on our website RaceDirectorsHQ.com.

You can also share your questions about some of the things discussed in today’s episode or anything else in our Facebook group, Race Directors Hub.