The New England Relay - 220 Miles, Six States, Running Overnight
Do you have what it takes to run through all six New England States? Do you want to experience the relay race of a lifetime? Well, put yourself to the test! Start training and grab 11 comrades. You can - and will - cover 220 miles: from Rhode Island to Maine, and four states between. Get your relay team together and start planning! Explore New England's most scenic routes – on foot – June 22-23rd, 2013!
Posted Wednesday, 22 May, 2013
You know this adventure must not be missed. So, what are you waiting for? This is the Second New England Relay and you will NOT want to miss this running opportunity. There will be so many amazing sights to behold, and so many miles to enjoy, and memories to share. This is a 36-leg journey through dozens of quintessential New England cities, towns and villages; you’ll run along streams with mountain views, and through forests, farms, and valleys. You will run through covered bridges and past idyllic scenes of churches, old schoolhouses, cows in pasture and fishing communities. The course passes through college towns, beautiful parks, ponds, lakes, and of course, finishes at the harbor. Your team will experience the seashore, sunset, sunrise and a wonderfully fulfilling sense of camaraderie and accomplishment.
This is the longest relay in eastern United States, and will be the running adventure of your lifetime: 12 runners, 220+ miles, 36 legs in 24 (give or take) hours. The New England Relay is the first relay to include all six New England States and is the only relay that integrates so many states. In fact, even the longest relay in the United States is just the width of one state – Iowa. This race begins in Rhode Island travels west into Connecticut, then heads north though Massachusetts and into Vermont, traversing east across New Hampshire and ending toward the Maine coast. Runners will run along the Connecticut River Valley, which is New England’s largest river and borders and flows through four of our beautiful states.
This relay showcases all that is good about the sport of running. It is inclusive, yet competitive, it is a wonderful way to explore the countryside, and enhances team building! The race starts one day after the summer solstice, where days are at their longest, so you will be sure to have plenty of daylight to soak it all in.
Because this is a somewhat complicated relay endeavor, the efficient race organizers have a detailed handbook for relay captains 30 days prior to the event. In a nutshell, there are 36 legs, giving a team of 12 three legs per runner. Additionally, you can have a 6-person team, called an Ultra Team. The legs vary in terms of mileage and course difficulty, so really runners of all abilities could be on one team. More details on relay team building below.
Because this is such a unique relay, many out-of-towners will want to travel to participate! Get there early to hang out in Connecticut or Rhode Island or stay a few days after the event and explore New Hampshire and Maine.
Both areas have much to offer. The Rhode Island and Connecticut areas are fairly quiet, but are teeming with history regarding Native American culture and there are interesting museums and so much natural beauty in the area. There are many state parks and recreation areas including ponds and fun things for the kids.
The Kittery, Maine and Portsmouth, NH coast has much to offer in terms of tourism. There are so many quaint restaurants, museums and historical sites. For a celebratory after party, this is the ideal location! You could have lunch in any number of downtown Portsmouth eateries and then commemorate your accomplishments by heading to any number of Portsmouth’s breweries! Afterwards, you can site see, as you will be standing in one of the most historic landmarks in American history. And there is always shopping at the Kittery Outlets!
The start is located in Glocester, Rhode Island, about 45 minutes from Providence, and an hour from Boston. It is also approximately 1.5 hours from both Manchester, NH and Hartford, CT. Manchester is probably the best bet for round trip air since it is 1.5 from the start and one hour from the finish. Boston Logan International would be a good alternative. For those driving, both the start and finish are reasonably close to Interstate 95.
There are plenty of hotel options near the start line in Rhode Island and Connecticut, as well as rental options for your team’s van. Please visit the Team logistics page for more travel information: http://www.newenglandrelay.com/team-logistics.php?ID=11
Your course will detail everything awe-inspiring about New England. The race handbook has terrific descriptions of each leg, with the length of each, cumulative distance, turns, handoffs, elevation profile, and maps - very impressive and easy to follow.
There are several transition areas that will accommodate tents and sleeping bags, although some may wish to sleep in the vans. Overnight accommodations, if desired, are available at the half-way point in Brattleboro, VT and Keene, NH, or there are many options near Manchester, NH - an hour west of the finish by car. If you plan well you could drive ahead and sleep there and wait for your team to come through.
Part of competitive fun of this endeavor is the planning logistics of transfer points, handoffs, and most important, building your relay team. This can be a fun and an awesome way to meet and get to know other runners. If you already have 11 friends in mind, this is a great way to build on your friendship’s memories. Relay running is a very inspirational way to run because you are part of a team.
On race day(s), teams will likely enjoy very comfortable running weather, a spectacular sunset, and phenomenal sunrise. The average high temperature central to the course is 77 on June 22nd, with an average low of 53, and a mean of 65. The sun will set at 8:24 p.m. and rise at 5:08 a.m.
The 220-mile New England Relay is modeled after other overnight long distance relays, except it is longer than most others. The course is divided into 36 legs with designated exchange zones at the end of each leg. There are two main categories for teams to choose from: regular 12-person teams (7 to 12 persons) or ultra teams consisting of 6-runners who run either a 6x1 or 6x6 configuration. Most teams will be simply running friends looking for a different and exciting adventure. Corporate and Club teams are also encouraged to participate.
Planning and organizing for a 12-person team to run about 220 miles at the best possible pace is a great company team builder. Meeting this challenge is about as much fun as you can have in team running. Running clubs and companies can compete with others, or contest their own internal bragging rights. Many companies pay tens of thousands of dollars for such team building—and other methods are likely much less effective.
This relay is designed for runners of all abilities. Whether you are an ultra-marathoner or a beginner, there is a spot for you in the New England Relay. There are six classifications, including women’s, men’s and mixed regular teams, and women’s, men’s, and mixed ultra teams. And there are divisions within those classifications: Open, Masters (40 and over), Senior Masters (50 and over). All levels of runners are encouraged to participate.
Distance and Difficulty
The 36 legs in the New England Relay average 6.2 miles. The shortest is 3.0 (two of those), and the longest is 11 miles. The minimum total distance for three legs is 14.3 miles. The maximum total is 26.2 for one runner. That is called the marathon leg and there will be special prizes to those who achieve the fastest overall pace for that leg. All other legs will be in between, depending on selection. Some legs are classified as easy, based on distance and elevation change; most are moderate; and a few are classified as hard. For more on Course Legs, visit: http://www.newenglandrelay.com/course.php?ID=10
Two team support vans - six runners each - will carry runners from exchange to exchange and will trade off every six legs at the van transfer areas. There will be music at several of the exchange areas (some runners will not sleep at all) to keep the teams going. Headlamps or flashlights and reflective vests must be worn during darkness, and runners may have “pacers” run with them during the nighttime legs. Vans will be able to “shadow” runners and keep them in sight for safety and directions.
If this sounds like a big undertaking, think about running one leg at a time! That way you can enjoy supporting your teammates and get geared up for your legs - only three runs and an average of 18.5 miles for each person. Totally doable! Remember to rely on your training and you will do great! The team support will keep you strong and able to run for your teammates.
More competitive types may want to take the “Marathon” positions. That is, there are two positions that run a total of 26.2 miles in three legs. There will be prizes for the fastest cumulative time for all three or the total of 26.2.
Get your Team Together and Run!
This relay is expertly organized and planned. The inaugural relay went like clockwork, and race management has thought about every detail to ensure runners safety and provide the best New England has to offer. Join us June 22nd and 23rd and enjoy an unparalleled relay experience with 11 close friends and teammates! Such camaraderie and running intensity could only be found in the longest relay in eastern United States. After you complete the race, tell your friends and family that you ran every state in New England within 24 hours (with a little help from your friends, of course). So, don’t hesitate, get your team together and be a part of the second ever New England Relay!
Registration Information - http://www.newenglandrelay.com
Register Now - https://racewire.com/register.php?id=1533
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