The variety of folks on a crew, and the way far they run, varies from relay to relay — and even from crew to crew. For path relays, the size of every phase can depend upon the place race administrators can safely arrange an trade level and the place there’s sufficient room for crew automobile parking. For marathon relays, races typically ask for groups of 4 runners, however some, just like the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Seaside, which added a relay choice to its March occasion for the primary time this yr, allow smaller groups.
For the inaugural occasion, the Shamrock Marathon had 110 groups, which added greater than 400 runners to the occasion. Jerry Frostick, the race director, mentioned that including a relay choice gave runners who may not go the total distance a style of the marathon expertise. The relays additionally led to the creation of trade spots alongside the course, the place one member of the relay crew exchanges an ankle band with the subsequent individual to run. On these spots on the course now “you’ve acquired roughly 110 folks” who cheer on the nonrelay runners as nicely. “We give them cowbells, and so they’re spectators till their crew is available in.” The Shamrock organizers hope so as to add house for a further 55 groups for the 2019 occasion.
Whereas a giant occasion like Hood to Coast could also be on lots of runners’ bucket lists, it’s a serious dedication. Relays connected to already established races, or simply shorter relays, are a extra sensible, and inexpensive, choice for extra runners.
Zach and Anna Corridor began the Ville to Ville relay this yr, a 73-mile occasion that goes from Asheville, N.C., to Greenville, S.C. “The everyday relay is an in a single day one, and we personally didn’t like that concept,” Mr. Corridor mentioned. However they appreciated the camaraderie that comes with being on a relay crew and “we thought a one-day relay could be extra interesting.” That they had 250 groups this yr; they’ve expanded to 350 groups for 2019 and already offered out the occasion.
Meredith Minnick ran the West Philly Runners 26×1, a marathon distance relay, in July. Most groups had 13 runners, who every ran two completely different one-mile segments, although some groups had fewer members, She’d wish to run an extended relay however mentioned that with two younger youngsters it’s not likely practical proper now. “I can’t take an entire weekend or longer,” she mentioned. Her crew completed the relay in three hours, eight minutes.
The crew needed everybody to run underneath an eight-minute mile, which is quicker than her regular tempo, so she mentioned she was each challenged and inspired by her crew.
“It was simply actually enjoyable.”
Jen A. Miller is the creator of “Working: A Love Story.”