PORTLAND, Ore. — Hood to Coast has new leadership after its founder failed to acknowledge top female teams during an awards ceremony for the 2018 race.
Hood to Coast, an annual relay where runners traverse the state from the top of Mt. Hood to the beach at Seaside, came under fire this year after founder and chairman Robert Foote gave trophies to top men’s teams but not women.
Hood to Coast racer Emily Pritt posted about the slight on Twitter. Pritt was a participant on the top women’s team, Goats N Roses, which finished 12th overall.
“At the Awards Ceremony, the top walking, HS and men’s teams were awarded trophies. When we asked why women’s weren’t announced we were told by RD Bob Foote, ‘Go talk to someone who cares,’” she wrote.
Hood to Coast has since apologized for the incident.
On Monday, the race announced Foote’s daughter Felicia Hubber will take over as chairwoman of the race series. Hubber will also keep her role as the Hood to Coast race director, which she has held since 2006.
"As a female, long time runner, and mother I'm extremely enthused about future prospects with the MOTHER OF ALL RELAYS!” Hubber said in a news release.
Foote is no longer listed as a team member on the organization's website.
On Tuesday, members of Goats N Roses said they met with Hubber and her husband, Hood to Coast CEO Jude Hubber. They called the discussion "emotional and productive," and said if the following actions are taken, they will compete in the Hood to Coast next year:
- Promotion of Felicia Hubber to Chairperson of Hood to Coast – the most senior position within the organization. Moving forward, Bob Foote will solely be recognized as the founder and historian of Hood to Coast, with no financial stake.
- Appointment of a Diversity Committee which includes women and those of other minorities that participate in Hood to Coast.
- An assessment of the organization’s practices and policies through the lens of the Diversity Committee as to how this inequality went unaddressed and other areas that men, women, different races and sexual orientations can be treated with respect and dignity.
- An update on progress before Hood to Coast registration opens on October 1 and an action plan to how these changes will be made before 2019 Hood to Coast Oregon and for all race series under Hood to Coast.
Hubber issued the following statement on Wednesday:
“The Hood To Coast Relay is truly sorry for the oversight in only recognizing the top three overall teams in the race on Saturday night. Meeting and discussing with the Goats and Roses team members yesterday was an emotional, heartfelt, and eye opening experience in helping to show us how we can create more equality in an event and industry that needs to do a better job of highlighting the triumphs of women and encouraging young female runners in the future. This has been a major learning experience, and as a woman business owner, I look forward to correcting our oversights and facilitating a new era for inclusion within Hood To Coast.”