Hood to Coast has outgrown its britches. Still a blast – you can expect (even embrace) the hassles: bad traffic, no sleep, long lines for port-a-pottys. Chaos! Throngs of sweaty people, full of pep and spirit, make the 200-mile relay race fun. Crowds excite me, not here to complain. But there are a couple points to make, in case someone with power… hears me (and has a brain):
Hood to Coast isn’t broke. It sells out every year. So why is the new management cutting corners? It reeks of greed, the ol’ corporate squeeze. It’s sickening. Because greed’s a disease.
What – no more team pictures? Instead, they set up a DIY team pic platform, under a giant DICKS sign! How insulting. For that matter, there were no official photographers anywhere to be seen. Also missing: FIREWORKS! The highlight of the finish line beach party, an explosive blowout to end the blowout. Something keen.
Medals were notably downgraded in quality from previous years. Add to this, the exchanges were so crowded (probably due to the botched start time arrangement), vans were waiting several hours to get from one jump to the next. Yes, there’s always been a bottleneck. This was extreme. Drivers were falling asleep at the wheel. People were reportedly snoozing in port-a-potties (something I still don’t believe).
There was no time to rest outside the vans, even at major exchanges (where we usually get a couple hours, at least). Didn’t even get a chance to visit my favorite horse along the way. Slowly creeping, less than ten miles from the end, watching the gas indicator slip from 88 miles… to redline, we hit empty! Luckily (Or was it extortion?) there was a volunteer nearby with a couple gallons in a can. He only asked for a $10 “donation” (which we happily obliged).
If this sounds like a rant – sorry! Had to release steam.
Can’t stop loving you, Hood to Coast. But next year I am trying other things.