This weekend, while Cassio and the rest of Team Werneck were competing in Las Vegas, my daughter and I participated in The 2017 Hood To Coast Relay, which covers the nearly 200 miles from Mt. Hood, the tallest peak in Oregon, to Seaside, OR, on the Pacific coast. It’s a tremendous event that draws 12,600 runners from around the world and raises over $500,000 annually for cancer research and patient programs at The Providence Cancer Center.

The 199 mile course starts at 6000′ on the side of Mt. Hood, at Timberline Lodge. (remember the hotel in The Shining?) It drops down out of the Cascade Mountains through small towns in the coastal forest on it’s way to the city of Portland, where it makes it’s way through the city.  The course then meanders down (and back up, and down again) mountain roads and small highways as it crosses the Oregon Coast Range on it’s way to Seaside.

We didn’t run the entire course alone, but were part of the 12 member team Run or Die. Each member runs three legs of the 199 miles, with the legs varying from about 4 – 8 miles in length. Each team of 12 is divided into two vans of six, and these also rotate through, with van 1 covering legs 1-6, van 2 covering 7 – 12, and so on. Once a runner is done with their “leg,” they pass of to the next, and then jump in the van to get to the next exchange ahead of their teammate. So what you end up with is a half dozen tired, hungry, sweaty people piled into a vehicle over about a 30 hour period. Such conditions are a true test of teamwork, not simply in sharing the task of running 200 miles, but also in cooperating with everyone and supporting one another, while hungry, sleep-deprived, dirty, and cramped in a confined space.

Also consider the logistics of putting on this race. 1,050 teams translates to 2,100 team vehicles, and 12,600 runners converging within the constraints of the course over a short 30+ hour period. 3,600 volunteers work the exchanges, stand at intersections to keep the runners on course, and direct the traffic all along the way. Don’t forget about the Honey Buckets – approximately 600 porta-potties can be found at each of the 36 exchanges, and the Honey Bucket trucks can always be seen, maintaining such vital equipment.

Such an event simply wouldn’t be possible without the combined efforts of everybody involved. While individuals can accomplish great things, an individual’s capacity pales in comparison to what is possible when people work together.

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” –Andrew Carnegie




Congratulations to everybody who competed at the World Master Jiu-Jitsu Championship in Las Vegas, NV this past weekend! Team Werneck was well represented by all who competed, as well as the teammates who were there to support them.

  • Cassio Werneck – Gold
  • Derek DiManno
  • Jaime Jara – Silver
  • Steven Anderson
  • Brandon Heath
  • Juan Punsalan
  • Nick Ramirez



REMINDER: We will be closed this Saturday and the following Monday in observance of Labor Day. Have a great weekend celebrating with family and friends!