Every now and then – hopefully more frequently than not – I like to think my website provides you with some temporary relief from boredom. Realistically though, that diversion only lasts for a few minutes (or even shorter if you’re one of those who just skims through to see whether or not there’s a contest at the end) – but today, I have the opportunity to offer a longer period of relief. Approximately the duration of a feature-length film, to be more specific.
Last month I received an advance copy of Hood to Coast, a movie that documents the annual race of the same name that has become one of the best known running events in the world. It chronicles the history and growth of the event from its inception in 1982, and profiles four notable teams on their quest to conquer the 36-hour, 197-mile-long running relay.
The film was an official selection of the 2010 SXSW (South by Southwest) Film Festival, and provides a nice glimpse into the craziness that goes along with such an undertaking. Although I have no personal experience with the event to base this opinion on, the movie struck me as a bit heavy on the emphasis of descriptions like arduous, grueling, heroic, and impossible to describe the challenge – but maybe that’s just my own “impossible is nothing” bias as an ultrarunner. There’s no doubt that H2C is a wonderful event; I’m just not sure it ranks up there with Badwater, TransRockies, or even Western States among the most extraordinary feats of human accomplishment.
Nevertheless, the film is entertaining for anyone who likes compelling human interest stories within the sport of running. It’s also very visually appealing, as it was filmed entirely in HD and features several very cool shots of the landscape the runners traverse on their way from the mountain to the coast. It definitely offers a hefty dose of mojo, either to sustain your New Year’s running commitment or just to better appreciate the sport we participate in.
Hood to Coast is having a special one-day cinematic release on January 11th, in 500 theaters in all 50 states; you can click here to find the theater nearest you that is showing the film. Following the premier screening you’ll see videotaped interviews with notable runners such as Mary Decker Slaney, Bart Yasso, and race founder Bob Foote discussing their previous Hood to Coast experiences.
So if you’re sitting around looking for something to do tonight, consider this a recommendation. If you need something more to whet your appetite - or for the severely attention-span-challenged folks out there - I've embedded a three-minute trailer below. And if you happen to see the film, I’d love for you to stop by here again and leave a comment with a brief review.
(But if all you’re looking for is a contest … fine. I’ll mail my copy of the DVD to one commenter below.)
"Hood to Coast Trailer", from SXSW 2010 (click to play):
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