PORTLAND, OR -- Organizers of the Hood To Coast Relay have set their sights on Central Oregon, for the newest addition to its growing race series. "The Mother of All Relays, the original Hood To Coast, is extremely difficult [to get into] and sells out on opening day; and then on that same day, we put another 40,000 people on the waiting list. So, clearly there’s not enough supply and a ton of demand," Hood To Coast COO Dan Floyd tells KBND News. He says they’ve discovered one-day relays are a lot easier for participants to plan for. Last year, they expanded to Washington with a one-day event, to try and meet demand; Floyd says it quickly sold out.
This year, they’ll add one in Pacific City, Oregon, in May
, and the High Desert Relay takes place October sixth. "We went and toured the course. As you can imagine, the course – in our opinion – was amazing. And, we felt like it was our best course that we’ve created, to date." It's also the organization's first looped course (pictured below), "Every inch of the course just has to be unique and we don’t want people to see the same thing twice," says Floyd. "With this loop, with Brasada Ranch being such a cool opportunity for people to see, I think the start and finish being located there is going to create a much more lively atmosphere. And, the final leg – Leg 12 – being actually on that property and a trail run, it’s going to be awesome."
Runners compete in six-person teams starting at Brasada Ranch. They'll travel through Powell Butte, Prineville and Alfalfa before returning to Brasada. Floyd says, "There’s an amazing panoramic view of the mountains that you can see from every single inch of that course. You’re going to see the mountains, the reservoir, the rivers and the High Desert. And, it showcases everything that we would want to showcase about Central Oregon in just 70 miles." Registration for the inaugural Hood To Coast High Desert
opened at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday. Floyd expects it will also sell out.
The original Hood To Coast relay spans two days in late August, as 12-person teams travel about 200 miles from Timberline Lodge (pictured above), on Mount Hood, to the beach at Seaside. It's sold out for the last 26 years.