Mother of all relay races takes place today

The 29th annual Hood to Coast Relay will take place today when more than 12,000 runners will descend on Mt. Hood in Oregon to take part in the largest relay race in the world. The event gets underway with the first wave of runners setting out from Timberline Lodge, located at 6000 feet on the mountain, at 6:30 AM. After that, more teams will follow every 15 minutes until the final runners hit the course at 6:45 PM this evening. The race will end tomorrow when the final teams reach the town of Seaside on the Pacific Coast.

The Hood to Coast Relay more than lives up to its moniker as “the mother of all relays.” The race runs for 197 miles and is broken up into 36 different legs, each between 3.7 and 7.4 miles in length. The teams taking part in the race consist of 8 to 12 member, and each member must run at least three of the legs. The number of teams that can take part in the event is limited to 1000, and in a testament to how popular the relay is, the event has filled its capacity, on the first day that registration opens, for the past 12 years running.

While the Hood to Coast looks like it would be a lot of fun in and of itself, the entire event is also used to raise funds for their charity of choice, the American Cancer Society. Last year the event raised more than $360,000 for that charity, and fans of the race can contribute to that worthy cause on their donations page.

And when the race is finished tomorrow, organizers wrap up the weekend with the largest beach part on the west coast, which includes live music, dancing, and an awards ceremony, not to mention plenty of things to eat and drink.

Anyone want to organize a Gadling team for next year?

[Photo credit: Hood to Coast Relay]