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Aug. 27-28, 2004: CulturePulp runs Oregon's "Hood to Coast" relay for the first time in 15 years.

Endnotes and Digressions:

1. Grey-tones for this installment by Chad Essley.

2. You can learn more about this protracted bout of knee-joint pile-driving at the relay’s official Web site,

3. The single biggest change I noticed from the late-’80s Hood to Coasts was how high-tech everything had gotten — cel phones, synthetic fabrics and shoes had all gotten monumentally more sophisticated in the intervening decade and change. For Pete’s sake, this year we kept track of our team splits using a custom Palm Pilot app (downloaded from

4. Not that anyone asked, but: My relay team, the “Portland Roasting Crab Men,” finished the race in 602nd place overall (out of 1,044 total teams) — with a total time of 28:06:54 and an average per-mile pace of 8:34. Had I not been on the team, this last number would have been vastly lower. You can read the complete 2004 HtoC results here.

5. For info on how I trained for the event, visit this site. I didn't stick to the schedule nearly enough, but I used a heart-rate monitor to keep my pulse around 150 on the long, slow jogs I did manage to complete -- and it made a world of difference in allowing me to ease my thick frame back into the world of relay racing. Here's a pretty decent primer on the wonders of heart-rate training; surprisingly, it seems that running slower can, in many ways, help the beginning runner gain strength faster than he would by running too quickly.

6. Here's a hard link to the Alexa delos Reyes cancer fund referenced in today's comic.

And finally: You can download a high-rez PDF of CulturePulp 011 right here: CulturePulp011.pdf

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Mike Russell is a film writer and cartoonist living in Portland, OR. ... full profile