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The BEST Overnight Running Relay!

The Gulf Coast Interstate Relay is an overnight running relay road race through 4 of the 5 Gulf States (Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida). Much of the course is right on the beautiful Gulf of Mexico. The course of the race, which starts in New Orleans, Louisiana, covers 234 miles of beach, backcountry roads, bridges and waterways.

So How Does This Work?

A typical overnight relay team consists of 12 runners, with each team member running 3 legs of varying lengths and difficulty. The shortest leg on the course is just under a 5K, while the longest measures about 10.5 miles. On average, each runner covers a distance of 7.3 miles per run and 21.9 in total over the three legs. The chart in Section 2 will help you compare and contrast the various legs.

Teams collectively cover the 234-mile course by rotating through a total of 36 legs. When a runner completes an assigned leg, he or she is inactive until the entire team has had a turn to run their assigned legs.

The relay has a total 35 exchange points.  Exchanges are the set locations where one runner passes the wristband to the next runner. Examples:

  • Runner #1 will run Leg #1 and hand off at Exchange #1 to Runner #2.
  • Runner #7 will run Leg #19 and hand off to Runner #8 at Exchange #19.

The exchange points are the same for everyone and are staffed by race officials recording team numbers and times.

A Major Exchange happens at every six exchanges – Exchanges #6, #12, #18, #24, and #30. Major exchanges are where Van #1 carrying Runners #1-6 and Van #2 carrying Runners #7-12, will meet for the handoff.  The handoff at major exchanges will always be between Runners #6 and #7, or between Runners #12 and #1. More details to follow on these major exchanges.

Although 12-member teams are the norm, we also welcome teams of 6 members. The same rotation cycle applies for all teams. Regardless of team size (6 or 12, no other team sizes are allowed), all teams must be able to average under 10:00 minute pace per mile (or a total team time of about 44 hours) in order to reach the finish line before the cutoff time on Sunday.

Sound like fun? Learn more about running relay team scenarios, or register now!

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