The Hood to Coast Movie

Finally…a review!

I was a bit bummed in January when I missed the premiere of the Hood to Coast movie. I dragged my feet about whether or not to spend the $50 to see a movie and then by the time I decided to do it, they were sold out. I was disappointed but I also had mixed feelings about seeing the movie too.

Michael and I made a date night out of it. We went to Jake’s for Happy Hour. We split the spinach artichoke dip and each had a drink.

Sorry about the weird lighting. After Happy Hour we walked over to the Living Room Theatres for dinner and the movie.

I’ve never been to the Living Room theatre before. The restaurant/bar was a classy fun place and after we ordered dinner and drinks we went to the theatre and got settled in. They brought the food to us which was nice.

The seats were really nice. They were comfortable and built like couches that encourage romantic snuggling during a movie.

I ordered the Caprese Panini and it was BRILLIANT. It’s not often that a sandwich blows my mind but this one did.  A panini with mozzarella, roasted roma tomatoes and basil pesto. It was delicious and I was sad when the food was gone.

Another rum and diet for me.


Now on to the movie. The movie started and within 10 minutes of the beginning I was crying a bit. And I didn’t stop until the movie was over. It was a gut-wrencher.

The documentary focused on four separate teams: The Dead Jocks in a Box (middle aged guys who have been running their whole life and now in their 60’s they’re bummed that their 6 minute miles are now 7 minute miles); Team R Bowe (a team of family and friends memorializing a loved one that died right before he was supposed to run); and the group of your typical Portland slackers–none of which are actually runners and they provided the comic relief. Heart and Sole is a team of older ladies, the main focus being Kathy Ryan–a 66 year old runner.

Kathy’s story is amazing. She will inspire you in ways you may not expect. In her late 60’s and she’s run more marathons than a lot of people half her age. She’s done Hood to Coast 17 times. In 2007 after her third leg she collapsed in Mist, Oregon from a heart attack. She lived and she’s back to running. Funny thing: I’ve been seeing Kathy jogging over the Hawthorne Bridge almost every day for years–long before I knew who she was. I’d see her every day when I walk the bridge to work!

Team R Bowe will make you sob. Seriously. The captain is the widow. She was 9 months pregnant when her 30 year old husband died of a heart attack. He was a runner his whole life and actually ran Hood to Coast when he was 12 years old–and rocked it. It was an amazing, and sad, story.


The Dead Jocks were goofy. Team Slacker (can’t remember the team name) was hilarious–I think they started training for the race 5 days before?

It was a good movie but hard to watch sometimes. I have happy memories of HTC and some not so happy memories. It was hard not to feel jealous of all these runners that can seem to punish their bodies with race after race and never get injured…It was hard not to feel sad that I can’t run anymore and that I probably won’t be doing races again.


I thought the movie was well made and it was over in a flash. You get sucked into the drama and trust me–the BORING potential for a movie about running was there but there was not a moment that I was bored. And Michael? The non-runner? He loved it too. He was inspired and loved the stories even though he has no desire to ever do it.

The movie also explained the history of Hood to Coast–including old footage from the 80’s which was awesome to see. It also did a great job explaining how HTC works.

The whole time I watched the movie I had to fight the urge to announce to the half-full theatre: “THAT WAS MY LEG!” and “I RAN THAT!” 🙂

It was an emotional rollercoaster for me. It brought up a lot of feelings of sadness, longing, anger…I kept thinking:


I miss running.

I miss running outside and enjoying it.

I’m so mad that I’m still injured!

So in that regard it was bittersweet to watch the movie. I felt deflated afterward and wished that I’d never been injured.

I highly recommend this movie–even for non-runners. It’s funny, it’s inspiring, it’s emotional, it’s uplifting. It was a nice date night.



Now for the links:

Good Luck Lisa!

Hood to Coast: Day One

Leg 12

After My First Run

Leg 24

Hurry Up And Wait

Leg 36

Crossing the Finish Line

Because You Can’t Do Epic Alone

Why I Wouldn’t Do Hood to Coast Again

Scott from iRunnerblog posted a two part interview with the Dead Jocks: Part 1 and Part 2 can be read there.


QUESTION: If you saw the movie, what did you think?

Author: Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and

12 thoughts on “The Hood to Coast Movie”

  1. Jason the non runner liked it too… never bored, and I saw him wipe his eyes a time or two… 😉

    He knows I used to run races a lot, and his running extends no further than running sprints during football practice. he was out of town when I saw this the first time – the day after we saw this movie together? he asked “how do we run HTC?”

    🙂 I was BEAMING !! I immediately printed out the C25K plan and we’re going to do it together.

    glad you enjoyed your night… fun theater, right? I knew the movie would be moving for you… XXO Happy Weekend !

    1. That’s so cool that he was inspired to want to give it a try! I’m happy for you guys being able to train together for it. Good luck!

      I had a great time. Loved the theatre, the food was wonderful and I’d love to go back there. It was a nice, intimate way to see a movie.

  2. Team R. Bowe nearly killed me…that was such a heart wrenching story!! I’m not sure I could handle losing my husband while being 9-months pregnant. So sad.

    I loved the film as well–I hope you are able to get fully healed and back into races. I love them too much to not do them! You’ve made awesome progress with your runs and I think one day you’ll be able to do them again (if you decide you want to).

    Thanks for the review!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement Becky. When I was watching the movie last night, 20 minutes into I turned to Michael and said “I want to run Hood to Coast again.” Silly, especially considering the post I wrote recently about why I WOULDN’T run it again. But I think really, I just want to RUN again. In a race–any race!

  3. Lisa, I feel your heartache about not being able to run, but I just wanted to let you know that it CAN get better. I was out of commission for about 16 months and really let myself get down about it for quite a long time. I was having trouble even walking, but when I finally got the right help and started to be smart about the dumb things I had been doing for so many years (ie: not stretching), it all started to come back together. There is hope and the possibility to run again is definitely there for you.
    It is an amazing feeling being able to run again and I wish that for you, too!

    I’ve enjoyed your movie review more than other I’ve read. I actually REALLY want to see it now. THANKS!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement Julie!

      The hard part with my injury is that I’ve seen EVERYONE and no one seems to help. Acupuncture, 2 different Sports medicine docs, physical therapist….they all tell me to do something different and nothing is helping. It’s very frustrating. I realized last night that I haven’t run outside for real since September. That’s a long time for me. I hope that I can at least improve enough to be able to do some running outside…even if it’s not a race.

      Glad you enjoyed the movie review! It was a great movie. See it!

  4. I haven’t seen the movie but really want to! Sounds like it was an emotional experience for you – I’m not surprised since the race itself was so emotionally tolling. It must have been so cool to see a film about something so epic that you yourself completed!

    1. It was a really special experience for me: running the race AND watching the movie. The race for me was kind of the “Pinnacle” of my weight loss story. It was something I never thought I could do at 250 pounds (and never wanted to) so running it and running the WHOLE THING meant a lot to me. I went into the event with lots of emotions already going on.

      I enjoyed the movie and I hope you can see it. As a runner you’ll be inspired. You’ll probably run home from the theatre. 😉

  5. Wow, what a terrific review/article/post! Reading this made me REALLY want to see the movie for the first time; before I always thought, “Hey, I ran that, and it was an unforgettable experience…so why do I need to see the movie?” Now I feel differently…wonder when it’ll come back to Eugene?

    Hope you can run again soon!

    Your teammate,

    1. Hi Bruce! How are you?

      You know I had mixed feelings about seeing the movie too. I didn’t want to see it at first because I was pouting about being injured and unable to run, AND I felt like “I ran it, why do I want to watch a movie about it?” But I am so glad I did. It was excellent. (I’m trying to convince Leslie to see it too.)

      I don’t remember what Legs you ran, Bruce, but Nancy Ryan in the movie was Terry from our team. She was leg 1. So it was really cool for me to see the other legs that you guys did in Van 1 and then to sort of relive my own running through them too.

      I hope you get a chance to see it! And thanks again for the nice comment. 🙂

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