How long is a relay race?

We offer two distances for each of our relays: a 70 mile course and a 200 mile course.

How many runners are in a relay race?

For the 70 mile distances, teams are generally made up of 2 to 6 people who split 12 legs. For instance, each person of a 6 person relay team will run two legs over distances varying from 3 – 10 miles. 

For the 200 mile distances, teams are made up of 4 to 12 people who split 36 legs. For instance, each person of a 12 person team will run three legs over distances varying from 3 – 10+ miles.

How do you find enough runners?

You might say 'This race sounds awesome, but can I really get 11 other people (or 5 for the 70 mile distances) to sign-up with me?' The answer is YES. To learn more about building your team, check out the link below.

How do i prepare for training?

If you are now wondering: How do I train to run 3 legs in the course of 24 hours? Do I have to run twice a day to be prepared? How long should I go? How much should I eat? How often should I sleep? It can be a lot to absorb, but thankfully, there is a lot of information on the subject. Therefore, we have provided some simple guidelines for you to follow so you can be prepared for the adventure.

Is it required for runners to stay in the same rotation?

No, runners can run in any order. This gives the freedom to the team captain and members to determine the best leg assignments for all of the runners.

Do runners for a team have to run the same number of legs?

No, teams can divide the legs up as they would like. One runner could run one leg, while another runs six. However, teams generally divide them equally so all team members can get a similar experience, but it is not required.

Can a runner run consecutive legs?

No, a runner exchange must occur at each Exchange Zone.

Can our team use an RV?

RVs are not allowed as an active vehicle (the vehicle driving from Exchange Zone to Exchange Zone dropping off and picking up runners) during the race. No RVs are allowed to park in the Exchange Zone parking lots. The maximum size vehicle that can be used as an active vehicle is a standard 15 passenger van. 

However, teams may use an RV as a secondary vehicle where team members rest during the race, though teams need to manage the logistics of switching runners from primary vehicle to secondary vehicle at locations that are not on the course.

Can I volunteer for a charity and a team?

No, volunteers are either from a team or from a charity. Teams pay a reduced registration fee if they provide volunteers. Teams that do not provide volunteers pay an extra amount to the race to provide volunteers. We use this money to donate to charities that are able to provide volunteers for the race.

How much sleep should I expect to get?

Plans for sleeping generally don’t happen as expected, so don’t expect much sleep during the race. If you are a 12-person team with two vans, you can expect to get a couple 1 to 2-hour naps along the way. If you are really persistent you may be able to get more sleep than that. If you are a 6-person or fewer team, sleep is hard to come by. But, you should be able to get a few catnaps in between your runs. Plenty of sleep will be had on Saturday night after the race!

What should we eat during the race?

One of the main things to follow for eating during the race is to eat things you have eaten before and know will not cause any digestive issues. We suggest bringing energy bars, fruit, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and other things that are easy to pack and have good nutrition in them.

What weather conditions should I expect?

We try to time all our races when the average high temperatures are in the 70s and average low temperatures are in the 50s. However, the weather is not always average for the race. Keep an eye on the forecast for the start and finish locations leading up to the race to know how to pack and dress.

We have had lows in the 30s, highs in the 90s, perfect weather, and rain for 24 hours straight in past events. Be prepared for almost anything – although if there is severe weather the race will be delayed until it passes or cancelled.

I am nervous about running at night in an unfamiliar place. Do you have any advice for me?

This is a common concern for people running overnight relay races. At all our races, we work with the County Sheriff’s Departments along the route. They have numerous patrol cars on the course bringing awareness to runners and making any traffic slow down. They are on the course from sun down to sun up, and you will see them regularly on your night runs.

Also, we allow companion runners during night time legs. We also encourage vans to leap frog their runners and pull off the road every mile or so (only where there is a shoulder to do so) to wait for their teammate to pass and cheer them on. We do not allow teams to follow directly behind their runner as this causes serious traffic issues and is not allow by the County Sheriffs.

Runners are also required to have blinking lights on front and back, head lamp (or carry a flashlight) and reflective vest, so you will be able to see other runners while you are on the course. We highly encourage runners to carry their phones with them during their runs.

What kind of expenses should I expect for this adventure?

The following are common expenses for most teams:

  • Van Rental – 2 for Full Teams, 1 for Ultra Teams

  • Food during the race

  • Water/Gatorade

  • Ice

  • Blinking Lights – at least 4 per van

  • Headlamp – at least 2 per van

  • Reflective Vests – at lest 2 per van

  • Hotels/Lodging – before, after, and/or during the race

  • Gas

  • Other Miscellaneous Running Items – hand-held water bottles, team shirts, body glide, stretching assistants, etc.

This is not an all inclusive list, but highlights the bigger expenses for the race.

Any Packing Tips?

You want to make sure to have everything you need, but don’t overpack. Space in the van is limited with 6 people, coolers and food. Pack a set of running clothes for each leg and pack something comfortable to wear between your runs. It is also highly advised to bring a separate plastic freezer style ziploc bag for each set of running clothes to be put in after your run. Check out our Supplies page for more ideas:

Will I have time to stretch/cool down after my runs?

For most legs, yes. There should be plenty of time for you to hang out and cool down at the leg you just finished before your team gets back in the van to go to the next Exchange Zone. However, sometimes the next leg is very short, and you will have to immediately get in the van and leave for the next Exchange Zone so you can get there before your active runner does.

What does the inactive van do?

If you are a Full Team you will most likely have two vans. One van will be the active van going from exchange zone to exchange zone with their active runners, and the other van will be inactive until it is their turn to be the active van. This down time provides an opportunity for the runners to relax at a restaurant and have a good meal. Some teams will also take this opportunity to get a hotel room where everybody can shower and rest for a little bit. This is also the time to replenish any van supplies that you need – ice, drinks, food, gas, etc. But, make sure to get to your next van exchange on time!

What is the most challenging thing about this type of race?

Getting all original team members to the starting line healthy and not injured can be a challenge. It is good to find alternate runners for the team in case a runner becomes injured during training and cannot race or in case an unexpected life event keeps a team member from being able to participate.

As far as the actual race goes, your last leg. All kidding aside, you are likely to find your last leg challenging because of the numerous miles you have already run, sitting in a van for hours and lack of sleep. To feel good on your last leg, we advise that you pace yourself during the early legs according to your pre-race plan and estimated pace. It is a challenge to hold yourself back and not run too fast early in the race. Even an experienced relay runner can make the mistake of running the first leg too fast and then paying for it on his/her final leg.

How is fueling for an Ultra Team different than fueling for a Full Team?

Fueling up for an ultra-runner is found a lot through personal experience. But, we have a few suggestions to get you started. Ultra team members will need to take more care to pack enough fuel and hydration.

Remember — nothing new on race day. The time to experiment with new foods, gels, and sports and recovery drinks is on training run days.

Instead of sitting down to a meal or two with teammates, you will be snacking your way through the race according to the timing of your own legs and bringing and eating foods that you know work for you. It is important that you refuel within 30 minutes of finishing a leg to help your body recover. Understand the timing of your legs and plan your snacks/meals accordingly. You will lose a lot of salt through sweat, so in addition to drinking water, ensure you replace electrolytes with sports drink, electrolyte tablets or salt tablets, and salty foods.

Some recommended foods include peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pretzels, peanut butter pretzels, bananas, oranges and granola bars or nutrition bars. And, some of our runners who do triathlons, have been known to down a favorite cola product along the way.

Have questions about a specific relay?

Check out the FAQ’s specific to each of our relays here.