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January 11, 2011

Hood to Coast Movie Screening Event

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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47 comments:

AJM,  1/11/11, 4:21 AM  

Awesome.... I'd actually love the DVD, my store is sponsoring the movie tonight but I'm working so I won't be abale to get to it. No sure if you were serious or not, but I figure it is worth a shot!

Thanks!

AJM

Eddie 1/11/11, 4:26 AM  

I'd love the DVD and could easily ship it back after viewing it. :)

TheRunningNobody 1/11/11, 4:50 AM  

nice ... a contest for every post, will you be able to keep this up for long ? :)

Donald 1/11/11, 5:01 AM  

AJM: Yup, I'm serious. The contest is on!

The BIG E 1/11/11, 5:08 AM  

Having run the H2C I can say it is NOT the most grueling or intense ran/endurance event I have ever done, it is however the most fun. Maybe I got lucky being in a Van with 4 strangers. Maybe it was the veteran driver who had "coached" the event numerous times before. I think more than anything though being part of a team is what was so fun. The cheering, the high fives, the joking and all over the course of a day and a half. Unlike other team sports the relay is very social. One person at a time, leaving lots of time for bonding, not only with fellow team members but other teams as well. After a few years on the side I'll be back this August and I can't wait. If you have a chance, get on a team, the event stretching almost 200 miles is so flawlessly run that to see that in itself is just cool. Since I will miss the movie today and Netflix may or may not carry it I would love to see the DVD. Oh and Don its a DVD, I won't tell if you rip a copy for everyone....

runputt 1/11/11, 6:03 AM  

Would love to see this but can't make it out tonight. I did my first relay last year and am hooked.

Angie Bee 1/11/11, 6:12 AM  

I have been hoping to go to this tonight since they are playing it across town in West Des Moines but alas, 4 boys puts a damper on things sometimes!
If I win I promise to watch the movie and pass it along via my own blog....
Take good care!
Have you ran Hood to Coast??

Gretchen 1/11/11, 6:28 AM  

Thanks for the review, although I can't say it helped my decision making process on whether to attend tonight. You seem sort of ambivalent about it. But since I was invited to go with runner friends, it seems a shame to miss out on a social occasion. I'll probably go.

I have run HtC, although it was back in '95, so I'll be curious to see if my fond memories match up. I'd say the only grueling part was the "no-sleep" factor, but then, I'm not so good at that, as you know. It's mostly a big party interspersed with some hard running efforts. Fun stuff! (And don't worry about entering me in this contest, since I might see it tonight.)

TylerS,  1/11/11, 6:36 AM  

I've been wanting to watch this for a while. Looks like an interesting flick. Consider me in!

JimDog 1/11/11, 6:42 AM  

My neighbor is going tonight (he ran his first ultra this year) but I can't make it. Would love the DVD!

Mike E 1/11/11, 7:03 AM  

Have been really hoping to see this - please count me in, thanks!

Tammy 1/11/11, 7:37 AM  

That just looks like a lot of fun.. a feel good sort of movie. But I think you are right- it does not measure up to the majority of the Ultra events out there... Be interested in watching this DVD for sure... thanks for offering it up... Have a great day!

Brandon 1/11/11, 8:40 AM  

I'd be willing to mail it back after watching it if you want :-)

Knuckles 1/11/11, 8:44 AM  

I don't need to actually win it, I'd just love to borrow it. Like everyone else on this thread.

Phillip

highperf 1/11/11, 8:52 AM  

Would love to watch! Naturally, I can share the movie DVD - I have no need to own it. Cheers, Bob

Chris 1/11/11, 9:07 AM  

I'd love the DVD. I ran H2C a couple of years ago.

-Chris

Chad 1/11/11, 9:42 AM  

Movie looks great, I would love to run it some day.

Dukester75,  1/11/11, 9:44 AM  

I would also like to see this movie, but probably won't make it to any theater anytime soon, so count me in for the contest!

Jobu007 1/11/11, 9:48 AM  

With an expected 10-15 inches of snow to start to fall this afternoon and through the night I don't think I will be able to go see the movie. A chance to win the DVD would be great!

jen 1/11/11, 9:54 AM  

Didn't get my ticket in time to see this in the theater, so I'd love a copy (and would definitely send it along after viewing it like others suggested). I have not run HTC but my husband did and it sounds amazing. This summer we are running a different OR relay- Cascade Lakes. I'm so excited!

Stephen Boulet 1/11/11, 10:29 AM  

I'd love to see it but I have kid duty. I did add it to my Netflix queue. Hopefully the DVD release won't be too long in coming.

mtlion 1/11/11, 10:59 AM  

I used to do the Tecate-Ensenada Relay. Teams of 5 runners ran 75 miles on the hot hilly and scary narrow curvy highways of Mexico with huge diesel belching semis roaring by. The race ended in Tecate.... beach, fish tacos, tequila, party. My last one was in 1985. Still have a "commemorative" unopened can of Tecate from that race. Hood to Coast sounds like loads of fun too. Love to get the DVD as I can't get to showing tonight.

itsagoodmorning 1/11/11, 11:47 AM  

So bummed that I won't get to go see this movie, but I teach a yoga class during the middle of it. Hopefully it comes to DVD soon!

pontdo 1/11/11, 12:41 PM  

Donald...I would love to "borrow" your copy and would pass it on to other runners once viewed. Kind of like my "missing" copy of Once A Runner! Thanks...Don

Andrea 1/11/11, 1:08 PM  

I've wanted to see this for months! would love a screener of the film.... :)

Ana 1/11/11, 6:25 PM  

The husband did this event a few years ago. Would be interesting to see if he pops up in a crowd shot.

TK 1/11/11, 6:31 PM  

I didn't read your post in time to get to the theater. I'd love the DVD...and would be happy to pass it along if you want to consider multiple, sequential winners.

ksp 1/11/11, 6:45 PM  

I would have loved to see the movie at a theater tonight - I registered online ages ago to try to bring it to our area, but no luck, I guess there were not enough of us. so...would love to watch the DVD and would also be happy to pass it on after viewing it.
- thanks! for being willing to pass on the DVD you received.

Billy,  1/12/11, 12:39 AM  

That'd be great, I guess it'll be a while before the film makes it to Tasmania. In the meantime a DVD, perhaps??

Timothy 1/12/11, 3:36 AM  

I ended up missing this premier last night due to an extra addition of miles... as such I would love to get my hands on a copy of the DVD.

Meg T 1/12/11, 5:19 AM  

I didn't get to see the premiere so it would be great to win the DVD. Thanks!

jamie h.,  1/12/11, 5:53 AM  

Sounds like a great movie to share with family & friends! Thanks for the chance..

Alex 1/12/11, 6:11 AM  

commenting, i wish the H2C would be shown near me. I saw a preview last weekend when i went to see "black swan"

N. Price 1/12/11, 7:30 AM  

Love to see the DVD

51feetunder 1/12/11, 8:02 AM  

HTC doesn't play here in Canada, it's be great to get a copy to pass around the local running crowd!

shel 1/12/11, 8:13 AM  

love running movies. even ones where the talk about the marathon as being the toughest test of human endurance, etc. me!

cheryl 1/12/11, 9:15 AM  

Very cool! Always wanted to do that race! Love to see the film!
Cheryl

Fincher 1/12/11, 12:45 PM  

Sounds like a cool flick (and cool race!)

Elizabeth 1/12/11, 4:25 PM  

Miss seeing the movie on 1/11/11 due to a snow storm, was already very sore and tired from the prolonged drive back home back after work that the thought of going back out just wasn't happening

mweston 1/12/11, 5:32 PM  

I saw it in Honolulu (I'm here for my first try at HURT this weekend). I thought it was very well done, following four teams of mostly interesting people. I did The Relay (Calistoga to near Santa Cruz) last year, and the movie got me more excited about doing it again this year.

Her Name is Rio 1/12/11, 6:31 PM  

I missed the showing here in AZ, but really hope to see it. The trailer looks like it's up my alley!

Amie,  1/13/11, 6:53 AM  

Thanks for the review. I wasn't able to make the movie screening but would love to see it on DVD!

Nate 1/13/11, 7:11 AM  

Wedding plans consumed by Tuesday. DVD would be awesome!

Alberto 1/13/11, 7:18 AM  

DVD would be nice since going to the movies is almost never an option...

robb 1/13/11, 11:14 AM  

I want to win this! I wanted to go to the screening but had other things I had to do.

Paul 1/13/11, 1:09 PM  

No theater within 100 miles of my house showed the movie. I'd love to see the DVD.

Caleb 1/13/11, 8:50 PM  

Saw the movie- want a copy bad. Can't wait to do the race in 2012!

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