The book Coast to Coast was written by Ryan Pancoast, one of the runners on the November 2004 relay run across the country by the cross country team of the Rochester Institute of Technology. They began the relay by dipping their batons in the Pacific ocean, and finished the relay by jumping into the Atlantic ocean 12 days, 3 hours and 48 minutes later.
The baton moved continuously forward on it’s 2,730 mile trip across the country at a blazing average pace of six and a half minutes per mile. Each runner ran for 2 miles at a time before handing off the baton, then resting for three and a half hours until it was their turn to run again. The runners were divided into 2 RVs with one additional car to support the runners in both vehicles.
The book documents everything from the planning stages to the execution of the relay, and touches on a few ways that the run effected the athletes’ lives. Some of the information that you can find about the trip in the book includes:
- a map of the route
- the author’s sketchbook
- the specs and layout of the RVs
- short bios of all of the runners and drivers
What I liked about this book is that it is a fast read that makes you feel as though you are there with the runners. The good things to happen on the trip are mentioned and receive the majority of the focus, but the author did not shrink from allowing us to see the turmoil and the problems that they had as they traveled from the West Coast to the East.
I really like how the chapters are broken up by the accounts of the other runners, the advisers, and some of the other people involved in the run such as the President of RIT and the father of one of the runners. The book has a great flow and is well organized.
There are also a total of 95 great pictures in the book, which really help you see what is happening as it’s described in the prose. The author is a professional illustrator and included his sketchbook at the end of the book. It is a lot of fun to read through the sketchbook and to compare the descriptions of events and people as later related in the book to what was drawn and written in the sketchbook at the time they were happening.