Scenes from 200 miles, 26 hours, 12 people and two very smelly vans.
The camaraderie, challenge and adventure of overnight relay races has taken hold in running circles around the country. Ragnar Relays is hosting 15 road and seven trail events across the country in 2014. A concept that began with a single race in Utah in 2004 is now the largest overnight relay running race series in the country. Teams of 12 runners, or ultra teams with six members, set out to run segments (usually from three to eight miles long) of the roughly 200-mile route. They race against fellow competitors and the clock to cover the distance as quickly as possible, often while clad in outrageous costumes. Tactics come into play with regards to sleeping, eating, running on tired legs and psyching out other teams. The next Ragnar Relay happens in Cape Cod in May.
Check out these images from the April 4-5 Ragnar SoCal event that sent runners from Huntington Beach, Calif., to San Diego to get a feel for what the fun and craziness is all about.