author’s note: today’s guest post is from my friend, and runner extraordinare, Elyse Braner. Elyse loves running & organizing relays – and she’s really good at it! If you’ve ever thought about running a relay, Elyse shares her Top 5 reasons why you should run one – and as a Hood to Coast veteran, I can vouch – it’s a lifechanging experience. A huge thanks to Elyse for her guest post!
I love running relays! I have done ten, most of them with my group of friends that I call Run Loves. I am currently signed up for three more relays, Ragnar Tennessee, Ragnar Key West, and the American Odyssey Relay. I love the logistics involved in pre-race planning as well as the actual adventure itself. Here are my top 5 reasons to sign-up for a relay:
Friends and Bonding– It doesn’t matter if you are doing the relay with an already established group of friends, or people you hardly know, you will become very close with the people you are running with. There is nothing else that will bond you more than spending 24 sweaty hours in a van with your teammates. Not to mention the adventure of getting to the start line, the team meetings, the race itself, and the finish line party. This group of people will literally become your family.
The Challenge– Whether you are running for fun or running to win, there is a challenge in running a relay. There are a variety of distances and terrain to cover during the race that will test even your most athletic teammates. Not to mention that fact that you will be basically running three races or segments in 24 hours, so you will race, then get in a van and get stiff. There is nothing like it. I love it. Just be sure that all twelve of your teammates are in agreement on if you are treating the race as a fun event of if you are in it to win it. The Travel–Relays are a great way to get a feel for a new place you haven’t visit before. It is a road trip and a race all in one. What a better way to see battlefields than to run them and drive through them in the American Odyssey Relay or get a feel for the south by running from Chattanooga to Nashville, and then spending a few days in post-race bliss in Nashville. Like wine tasting? Check out the Napa Valley Ragnar relay. There is a relay and destination for everyone.
The Adventure–Relays are an adventure. You are running in the middle of the night down rural roads, stopping at roadside dinners to re-fuel, and driving/running through places you normally wouldn’t. Additionally, it is definitely an adventure getting twelve people to a start line, coordinating travel, meals, and hotel. Plus, you never know who you will meet along the way or what will happen. The unknowns of what you will find make it the biggest adventure of all.
The Fun—The biggest reason to run a relay is that they are fun!! There is nothing else like it. You will miss it so much when it is over and you will begin looking for your next one. I mean, what else combines friends, a road trip, running, decorating a van, fun costumes, an awesome finish line party, logistics, and the need to sign-up for another one as soon as you are done running!!
If you’re running Ragnar Tennessee, Ragnar Key West, or the American Odyssey Relay, look out for Run Loves!