The RMEC has participated in two relays in the past few years. One team did the Blue Ridge Relay in 2010, and three teams did the American Odyssey Relay in 2011. I had the privilege to race in both relays, and can honestly say both are at the top of favorite running accomplishments and memories.
We all run and train together, but on race day it is normally an individual achievement. A relay changes all of this. From the moment you leave Rocky Mount to head to the race start, you are a team. You count on each other to pull you through the race. It is running, it is driving, it is navigating, it is supporting. . . it is honestly amazing. And you do it all overnight while covering 200 miles.
So the bug seems to have bitten again, and the RMEC is gearing up for another relay. This time it is the Colonial200 in Virginia. Unlike the other events we have done, the logistics of this event are very manageable and affordable. They also have a one-day 70 mile option too.
Colonial200: This race starts outside of Charlottesville and finishes in Williamsburg. This makes for minimal driving. It is a three hour drive to the start from Rocky Mount, and two-and-a-half hour drive home. Not bad at all. Depending on your start time, you might not even need the expense of a hotel.
Colonial70: If you are not quite ready for an overnight 200 mile relay, there is also the Colonial70. This runs the last 12 legs of the Colonial200 course. It begins just outside of Richmond in Hanover and shares the same finish line.
Date: The 200-miler starts on Friday, September 28 and finishes on Saturday. The 70-miler starts and finished on Saturday.
Team Makeup: Teams can be 4-12 runners for the 200-miler. A typical relay team is 12 runners in two vans. The RMEC has always raced as ultra teams (6 or fewer runners), but typically 90% of teams are 12. The 70-miler is intended for 4-6 runners. Teams can be coed or same sex.
Who is this for?: This is NOT something only for "fast" runners do. This is NOT something for only marathon or ultra runners to do. This is for people who want to try something different and maybe push the bounds of their ability a bit in a team setting. A six mean team pushes through exhaustion, sleep deprivation, poor nutrition, and running in the dark (doesn't that sound awesome?). A 12 man is not nearly as challenging. You only run three times, and you have long breaks when your entire van can park and rest. Don't be afraid of trying this.
Assembling Teams: I do not want to be responsible for assembling teams. This will kind of fall together naturally. To get things started, we need to know who is interested. We can use comments on this post to see where people stand, and what you are looking to do. If you want to be on a male-only or female-only team, that is fine. If you want to be on a 12-man team only, that is fine. If you want to do the 70-mile option, great! Just post a comment so people know.
Commenting: Please include the following information when you post:
- Race (200 or 70 mile race)
- Team Members (Ultra or 12-man)
- Type of Team: (Coed, single gender, or no preference)
- Would you be a captain (the person to register and help keep the team organized)
- Your goal (running hard, running for fun, or somewhere in between)
Training: The training is not as hard as you might think. Each leg of the relay is about 4-7 miles normally, so you never run too long. Having longer endurance training runs are important, and I also suggest having a few days where you do a "double" and maybe one day with a "triple" (for ultra teams).
Some motivation. . .
BLUE RIDGE RELAY