The 12-member team takes on the iconic annual overnight, 198-mile running relay stretching from Mount Hood to Seaside, Oregon.
August 28, 2015. 5:30am – The text arrives. Meet me at the white van in the parking lot. It’s big. You can’t miss it. By 7:30am the van in question is parked at Timberline Lodge, 6,000 feet above sea level on the south slope of Mount Hood alongside approximately 500 other vehicles, including SUVs, mini vans and around 100 other large white vans. Upon its arrival, the façade of the aforementioned van is generic. Twelve cans of chalk paint later, it boasts an assertive character and signature tag: Dimension Six, the name Phil Knight originally proposed for the company that became Nike, inspired by the winged goddess of victory. Incidentally, there is also a single wing painted on one side of the van. The goddess’ other wing can be supposed to adorn the team’s supplementary vehicle, which will carry the remaining Dimension Six members due to run the 33rd annual Hood to Coast relay.
The seminal race draws 1,050 teams for a total of 12,600 runners, who arrive from 36 countries and all 50 U.S. states. The Dimension Six crew specifically includes No Wyld band members Joe Pascoe and Brandon Black, actor Ray Fisher, DJ and record producer Anthony Maniscalco (aka Hook N Sling), actress Mackenzie Mauzy, Ian McPherson of the Bixel Boys, actress Eloise Mumford, singer-songwriter RaVaughn, Tom Renaud of the band Lord Huron, and actor Theo Rossi. Each has completed an eight-week training plan prior to their arrival in Portland. Nike+ Run Club coach Blue Benadum designed the regime (available for both men and women) to meet the challenges of Hood to Coast, a 198-mile, approximately 36-hour race that requires each runner to cover three legs, varying in length, daylight and terrain. What the race demands in physical resilience, it pays back in dramatic, varied natural beauty. The route twists through dense emerald forests, past glacier-carved cliffs and over bridges before winding through horse-filled pastures to the Oregon coast.
At 9.30am, the first leg begins its decent down the mountain as the sunrise paints a pink line across the sky and gravity increases speed. By 6:41pm the team hits Portland, humidity is high and the sun dips, blisters and soreness set it… A Dimension Six runner pauses to throw up but presses on. 82.5 miles in, near Scappoose, a few raindrops splatter Highway 30, which is primarily lit by bobbing headlamps and blinking harnesses. Nine hours later, heavy rain, hail and 65- to 90 mile-per-hour winds down trees on Highway 202, soaking sneakers and rain jackets, and rerouting the usually sun-saturated beachfront finish in Seaside from the sands to the slightly more protected promenade.
As the Dimension Six members join their final runner at the finish line at 12:41pm on August 29 — more than two hours ahead of their projected time — it is the fortitude of the athletes not the force of the storm that proves most impressive. Endurance, passion, goal breaking and camaraderie have once again validated the improper, yet nearly perfect science that has built the mythology of Hood to Coast and which lies at the heart of the sport of running. Each and every team member proclaims their pride in pushing far beyond their perceived physical, mental and emotional limits. And they can’t wait to do it again.