Review: ‘Hood to Coast’

"Hood to Coast" follows the titular 197-mile relay race, the largest in the world, with 1,000 teams of 12 runners each.

Expertly constructed, impressively lensed and surprisingly entertaining, “Hood to Coast” follows the titular 197-mile relay race, the largest in the world, with 1,000 teams of 12 runners each. More communal than competitive (“like Woodstock moving down a road”), the grueling 24-hour event, stretching from atop Oregon’s Mt. Hood to the distant sea, draws athletes and deadbeats of all ages and persuasions. Pic, which enjoyed a one-night-only nationwide preem in January, opens July 15 at Brooklyn’s Indiescreen, a treat for the sports-minded and sports-phobic alike.

Helmer Christoph Baaden deftly intercuts among four very diverse teams. Aging members of “Dead Jocks in a Box” use humor and water cannons to mitigate the pain of losing their edge. Team “R. Bowe” consists of loved ones of a sprinter who died at age 30, just weeks before last year’s race. “Thunder N’ Laikaning” is composed of out-of-shape animators who view their adventurous lark with considerable trepidation. And a mere 12 months after suffering a massive heart attack on the course, 67-year-old Kathy Ryan returns, liberally interpreting her doctors’ advice by running with a wrist-strapped heart monitor and a “Hearts and Soles” teammate alongside her.

Hood to Coast

Docu

Production

A Film for Thought production in association with Run All Night Prods. Produced by Christoph Baaden, Marcie Hume, Anna Campbell. Executive producers, Bill Campbell, Jane Campbell, Tasca Gulick, Paul Gulick. Directed by Christoph Baaden. Co-director, Marcie Hume.

Crew

Camera (HD, color), Jayme Roy, Jody Eldred; editor, Christo Brock; music, Nathan Barr. Reviewed on DVD, New York, July 9, 2011. Running time: 102 MIN.

With

Kathy Ryan, Jim Ekberg, Larry Dutko, Travis Bowe, Vicky Bebb, Larry Bowe, Rachel Larsen, Jason Baldwin.
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