Running the Famed Hood to Coast with Leatherman

The long-distance Hood to Coast run draws athletes from all over the world and helps define the state of Oregon as an outdoor mecca.

We sat down with Leatherman employee Amanda Bautista to find out what really goes on behind the scenes at this amazing event.

Leatherman Tool Talk: Have you ever done this event before?

Amanda Bautista: I ran Hood to Coast for the first time in 2009. After this first time I participated, I was hooked! The adventure and the memories that are made during this amazing adventure are indescribable. My favorite legs are 1 and 5.

Leatherman Tool Talk: What is your background as an athlete/adventurer?

Amanda Bautista: I have never considered myself an athlete although I have run the Portland Marathon twice, qualified for Boston Marathon once, and have done innumerable half marathons and 10k’s over the years. This year will be my eighth year running the Hood to Coast event. For 2017, I am slotted to run the Rogue Run Marathon and the Portland Marathon. My background in adventuring includes hiking, snow showing, and camping. Any time I travel, I make sure that I save time to hike and take in the views of the natural settings.

Leatherman Tool Talk: What motivated you or inspired you to participate?

Amanda Bautista: The adventure, camaraderie, the challenge and my love for running are my inspiration.

Leatherman Tool Talk: Who did you race with? Who supported you?

Amanda Bautista: I have run the race with so many people. By far my favorite group is the current group of Leatherman employees that I run with. However, my A-1 person to run with is my husband, Lee. Mainly because he is my biggest supporter during my marathon training and Hood to Coast is an event that we can do together.

Leatherman Tool Talk: Did you carry a multi-tool? Have to use it?

Amanda Bautista: Although I do not carry a multi-tool during races, I do always have my Signal in my backpack in an accessible spot. Luckily, the only reason I have ever had to use it is to cut my apple or cheese. If I am ever adventuring, my husband always wears a Leatherman.

Leatherman Tool Talk: What made the event special? Any epics or problems come up? Advice for others who want to do it?

Amanda Bautista: Hood to Coast is made special because of the 11 other individuals that I run with. The team is definitely what defines the race. Growing our friendships, showing our support for one another, and challenging ourselves to do our best for the group is the icing on the cake. In the past, there have been times that we did not make the exchange on time and our runner had to wait over an hour. That is about as problematic has it has ever been. My advice to others is to get to your exchange! Rest, showers, food, etc. can all wait. Be the best teammate you can and get there! Other advice is to buy scented garbage bags for dirty/wet clothes. It makes the van way more pleasant.

Leatherman Tool Talk: Would you do it again?

Amanda Bautista: I will run Hood to Coast as long as there is a spot for me. There have been a couple of times where I have “retired" only to throw my name in the raffle a week later. I love the experience and as long as I can run, I will always participate.

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