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What it Takes to Run a 200-mile Adventure Relay

The 200-mile, 24-hour relay is the greatest, most exhilirating race ever created. (No, this is not just my opinion. It’s pretty much recognized as fact. I can’t tell you my sources, just trust me on this). It combines team camaraderie with a crazy challenge, beautiful scenery, and serious exhaustion. You’ll have moments when you question your sanity and your desire to run one more step. And by that 3rd leg, the only thing you’ll be able to think about is running as fast as your lead-filled legs can carry you so you can finally (finally!) be done.

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But the craziest part of all? Once you are done, and fed, and showered and napped, you start to forget about that awful feeling of waking up at 2am to run 6 miles uphill, or how cramped your legs get from being crammed into a van for 24-hours. The pain starts to dull, and in its place you remember the sun coming up over the horizon on the start of your last Leg, the way your team came together and helped each other get through this daunting task, and the moments you felt truly, exhilaratingly alive. As those memories get stronger and stronger, you find yourself asking just one question: “When can I do another??”

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All you need is one {good} relay experience to be hooked for life. Just ask Becky. She’s been dying to do another relay since that fateful day last July when I tricked her into doing that first one!

Yes, so I am admittedly obsessed with the things. Part of it is probably because it brings me back to my old cross country days, a sport that I miss every time the air starts getting cooler and the leaves start to change color. Part of it is because I really love being challenged, and nothing gets me more excited than a challenge that can seem close to impossible. And part of it might just be because it’s the one race EC and I do together. He was the one who convinced me to start doing them, after all and created a monster. And so I suppose for that reason, these adventure relays will always have a special place in my heart.

In my {biased} opinion, adventure relays should be right up there with the marathon on every runner’s List of Races to try. I promise that you don’t have to be a super fit, distance-obsesed runner to do one. (Don’t believe me? Watch Hood to Coast)

So if you’ve ever found yourself wondering what it actually takes to run a 200 mile relay…. or if you really have what it takes to do one (the answer to that is yes!), this list is for you.

What it Takes to Run a 200-mile, 24-hour Relay

12 team members

11 moments of questioning your sanity

10 gallons of water

9 Clif Bars

8 packets of nut butter

7 running tops (hey, a girl’s got to have variety. And be prepared for cold)

6 smelly, tired runners crammed into a van

5 cups of coffee

4 hours of sleep

3 different Legs to run

2 vans

1 goal

That’s it. You don’t need super-powers or some crazy love for being tortured. You just need two legs to carry you and the heart to keep going.

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Why the sudden re-appearance of my relay love? This weekend I’ll be running the Cape Cod Relay with a bunch of strangers my closest friends. We start in Borderland State Park in Easton (my old running grounds!!) and end up in Truro, MA. It is crazy how ridiculously excited I am to live out of a van, survive on peanut butter, Clif bars and coffee, and push these legs of mine to their limits. I mean, seriously – what could be more fun than that?!

Fun fact about this race: it was originally supposed to end in Provincetown (which would make it 200-miles and mean that it actually went all the way to the end of the Cape) but the organizers weren’t able to get the necessary permissions, so now we have to stop short in Truro. What do you think, Becky? Should we just keep running till we get to the tip of the Cape??

28 Responses to What it Takes to Run a 200-mile Adventure Relay

  1. That sounds amazing. I think that I am about to start asking people to join a team with me so I can do it next year. Have fun! Your excitement is contagious.
    Cyndi @ Weightless Life´s last post ..Green Thumb

  2. By the time we reach mile 189, what’s 11 more?! I am so ridiculously excited for this weekend! People keep laughing at me when I tell them I will be away for the weekend. “Where are you going?” they ask. When I explain, they just stare, bewildered. I still insist that the relay is the greatest race!
    Becky´s last post ..MomOnTheRun’s First Half Marathon

  3. Have fun! Sounds like a great race.

  4. You guys are going to have the best time. I can’t wait to hear about it! I would love to do a relay, but I think it’s important to find the right group of people to do it with.
    Liz´s last post ..A Restful Weekend

  5. A relay sounds like a lot of fun! I think I might add this to my Fitness Bucket List

  6. You guys are going to have so much fun! I can’t wait to hear all about the craziness that goes on :)
    I vacation on the Cape a lot, and once we stayed in Truro and it’s so beautiful! It looks like you guys will have nice weather, and you’re fully armed with the necessary food groups of runners (nut butter, coffee, and bars).
    The way you describe the desire to do more reminds me of marathons – after you finish, the pain doesn’t matter, you only remember how it felt to cross the finish line and have people cheering for you, and you instantly want to do another! And it’s so sweet that you and EC share a bond over relays :)
    Have a wonderful time, Lauren!!
    Corey @ the runners cookie´s last post ..Finally a Decision

    • That’s exactly how it is!! I think I’m an adrenaline junkie when it comes to running – it’s why I can’t seem to stop signing up for races!

  7. You and Becky get giddy when you talk about this in person, so I can’t only imagine the actual van rides/runs/craziness! Have a fabulous time! I’ll be cheering you on from PVD :)
    Erin @ Big Girl Feats´s last post ..Too Busy Living

  8. have so much fun this weekend and then come back and start planning ours so I can get super duper pumped up! (as if I’m not already…)
    Emily´s last post ..An Empire State of Mind

  9. Sounds awesome! It is very impressive to accomplish something like this!
    Shannon´s last post ..Very Hot Run

  10. I’ve actually never heard of a relay like that before! I can totally believe that it would take a lot of grit to get through, but I can also believe it’s worth it!
    Mimi´s last post ..Classic pairs

  11. That sounds like a fun weekend in my book! I’ve never done a relay but it sounds very intriguing.

    Can’t wait for the relay recap!

  12. Good luck! I know you’ll have so much fun! Every time you talk about the relay, it gets me sooooo excited to do one in the future. One day I aspire to be an addict just like you :)

  13. Keep running to P Town!! Have a great this this weekend & kick butt!! I can’t wait for RTB!

  14. Good luck!! The weather is supposed to be good throughout Saturday. Looking forward to reading the relay recap :)

  15. Ohhh, that’s so cool that you’re doing a relay! I have always wanted to do the Ragnar Relay DC. I was supposed to do it last year but the person organizing it dropped out and asked me to take on the organizing but that was a couple months before my wedding and I felt like my organizing schedule was already overloaded! haha. I really want to do it sometime, though!!

    Good luck and have fun!!!:)
    Erin @ Until You Tri´s last post ..Blogger Brunch and Foot Pain

  16. Good Luck and Have fun!!!
    I am running the Reach the Beach Relay in MA in 2 weeks! It is my first relay like this and I am so excited. I would love to hear how and what you packed for clothes, supplies and food, if you have a chance once you finish your race. I am not sure where to even start when it comes to packing for the weekend “away” so thank you!

  17. I sorta wish I with you guys. Sorta… all your tweets are making me jealous but I’m still scared of the dark. I’m a wimp : ) Hope you have the best time ever!!!
    Lizzy´s last post ..Product Review &amp Giveaway!

    • Don’t be scared. We would keep you safe!! And if Becky and I have our way, you’ll be doing one of these with us soon enough ;)

  18. Good luck! I hope it went well and that you guys had fun! This sounds like a wonderful (albeit tough!) experience. I can relate to the amnesia you feel after completing something difficult, so that you forget the bad and remember the good! ;) Especially if the event was fulfilling and gave me a sense of accomplishment.

    Can’t wait to hear how it went!

  19. This looks like a freaking amazing blast.

  20. Did you see Hood to coast? I can’t figure out how to find the actual movie?

    Hope the race went well!
    Stephanie´s last post ..Saturday Splendor and its only 8-30

    • I did! I wrote a review of it on my blog a little while ago… The movie was inspirational, amazing, and made me that much more excited about doing Hood to Coast someday (somehow!!). I know it was only released in select theaters, but I’d imagine that they are going to put it on DVD at some point. I’ll let you know if I find out any additional information!

  21. Cool thanks!! I love those movies. I am excited to hear about the Relay. I am very jealous that i had to drop out…:( oh well there are many more relays to try! I really want to do reach the beach!

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