Hood to Coast
Hood to Coast may be one of the poorest named documentaries ever made, yet one of the better ones. It is really terrific. The Hood refers to Mount Hood in Oregon and these guys who are called Dead Jocks in a Box sort of star because they started this crazy event. I like them because DJB is also my initials, get it Dr. Joy Browne… nevertheless, DJB are a bunch of guys who were world class runners and athletes who got bored and old and decided to make up this race where you run from the top of Mount Hood all 197 miles to the Pacific Ocean. This is done in teams of 12, six to a van, which allows for changing of runners over the 36 different segments. It’s incredibly complicated and only a whole bunch of middle-aged jocks could sit down and figure this out, but the race itself is grueling and imaginative and weird, but the teams that they follow are absolutely mesmerizing. The first is the Dead Jocks in a Box, the ones who started this thing 27 years ago. One of the guys has been running it for 25 of the 27 years and his team feels a huge responsibility to finish in the top 10 so that they don’t have to be in a lottery and this guy can keep up his unbroken string of races. There is a heartbreaking family whose eldest son ran as a 12-year old in the race and died unexpectedly at 30 so his widow and his estranged parents and all his college roommates run. My favorite was a group of kind of yuppie, overweight, creative sort of potty mouthed designers who decide to do it without much preparation– their training is to never run and drink a lot of beer. Those are the ones that I identified with the most because it’s really about heart. Then there is the team that always wins. There’s even a woman who several years ago actually had a heart attack and died and then was revived and raced. This is really a terrific documentary. You care about all the people. It’s really fun. I give it four and a half stars.