The following testimonials were submitted by the runners of American Odyssey Relay. If you would like to email us your thoughts on the race, we will post them here and on the homepage.
2015 – 2012
During Odyssey weekend, all the differences that we see divide our nation aren’t a thought. You’ve got teams and volunteers made up of all types of runners: fast runners and slow runners, fat runners and skinny runners, white runners and black runners (and every one in between) male runners and female runners, veteran runners and non-vet runners, Christian runners and atheist runners, straight runners and gay runners, liberal runners and conservative runners. And NO. ONE. CARES. We don’t let this pettiness divide us. It’s all love. All we care about is the team goal – complete the course and experience as many high jinks along the way as you possibly can! The only question that need be asked and answered is WILL YOU RUN? Will you be my teammate? Which leg can you commit to? Can you tolerate being in a sweaty, funky van for 30 hrs squished in between strangers, and do you like the sound of night running followed by pancakes and sausage cooked by Boy Scouts on a tennis court? If so, lets RUN!
– Signed, Fat, black, female, slow, Christian, straight, conservative, runner (also 1/12 of the 3x American Odyssey Relay participating team: Rosie and the Riveting Runners
The American Odyssey Relay has been such a positive experience for my brother, his wife and I that we have been inspired to create our own LDR (long-distance relay) [coming in Michigan 2018]. Whether it’s the orienteering aspect, the health & physical fitness benefits or the creating of lasting memories with close friends; every year the American Odyssey has delivered a safe, fun and adventurous experience.
Oh yeah – and there’s beer at the finish line! – Derrick F.
1.) The local vibe to it — has a real community feel which is a nice change of pace from other races. 2.) It’s really fun (duh!) 3.) The RD and the volunteers are amazing — they actually care about the runners and you’re aren’t treated just like another number. Very refreshing. – Nicole W.
It’s like a FAMILY REUNION! The race supports awesome causes which further underpins the personal, personable, family gathering that it feels like each year. Sasquatch LOVE family … lol! – Sheryl T.
For many of us, running can be a solitary pastime. Unlike most races or running challenges, the AmericanOdyssey Relay creates a sense of community and – in a matter of 36 or so hours – forges strong bonds amongst runners that span the years. – Lauren B.
I love the camaraderie and the spirit that this relay embodies. I love that it benefits Team RWB. This relay is a joy to run and the highlight of the spring! Thanks for your efforts. – Stacey F.
The course is beautiful, the swag is great, but what I like most about the American Odyssey Relay is the people. Everyone from the Race Director, to the participants, to the community members are extra friendly, fun, and encouraging. It really makes me want to come back year after year. Thanks for such a wonderful event and wonderful memories. – Josh W.
This was my 8th Adventure Relay and by far the best experience of them all. – Ted F. from Between a Walk and a Hard Pace
This is the first year I have ran in a relay and I can say confidently that it will not be my last. What a great event! You and your tean did an outstanding job in the organization and preparation of the race. With so many individuals, vehicles, and variable factors I am extremely impressed. – Dan H.
This was by far the best relay you have put on. I was runner 7 and it started raining while I was out there. Once I was wet – I was wet. We actually all laughed about it once the 3 of us that got drenched became dry again. I can’t wait to do this again next year. – “Team 24 Cheeks to the Wind” – Runner 7
The AEI team has such great memories and a truly incredible experience every year. Thank you for your vision, leadership and incredible hard work to make this event happen! – Jason Bertsch
Thank you for putting on such a spectacular event! The memories and experiences from this past weekend I will cherish for years to come. I had the privilege of completing leg 6 this weekend and I am requesting the beer glass which you are so graciously offering! – Freddy L.
As of Friday morning, I was still wondering what in the world I’d gotten myself into, but now I’m a relay convert I had an awesome team (Go Daughters (+1 son) of Rest — and of Green Tutus! Also, a big shout out to the Never Nuders, who were a super friendly and welcoming team to us newbies. Props to them for adopting one of our runners at the end of his leg while our van was MIA and a big shout out to Amanda whose company for most of leg 11 helped make the sleet and the headwind less miserable. Cheers to American Odyssey Relay 2014! – Caroline M.
Things you might encounter on this “adventure”: Cow bells, Freddy (the mascot), silly moments, priceless memories!! – Brenda H.
This is an incredibly well run relay thru some amazingly scenic portions of PA, MD, WV, VA and DC! – J Neely
The Mostly Middle-Aged Maniacs had a great time! And thanks to all the other teams who showed the true spirit of teamwork. You offered water, snacks, and (most importantly) encouragement through your windows driving by and in person at the exchanges. You made this relay experience what it was and we are so grateful! – John H.
The saddest moment of American Odyssey Relay – cleaning off the van after 30 hours of pure fun in it! The BTR Badasses had a blast, thanks to Bob Fleshner, the staff, and especially the volunteers for everything! – Lauren E.
200 miles with my sisters in crime… too much fun! Thanks American Odyssey Relay! – Jean B.
This race only seems to get better and better. On behalf of all Sasquatches, please accept our sincere gratitude for all the work that you, Kelly, and all the volunteers put into this race. Originally we were pretty much a “local” team. As time moves on our team members have scattered, following families and careers…..but they keep coming back. This year we had team members come in from San Antonio, Atlanta, Nashville, and Philadelphia to participate. I think that is a testament to the quality of the event you and your team have put together. – George R.
This is my FAVORITE event!! And you are a GREAT race director. Your sense of humor about it all is wonderful… And, still being able to command everyone’s respect and lay down the rules. Best event ever!!! – Jamie
Thank you very much for making the American Odyssey Relay. The comments coming from my van were all positive and we wondered why someone would not want to do something like this. It was that much fun. – Stu W.
Team Running Dead had a great first American Odyssey Race! Thanks so much for all the hard work. See you next year! – Chris B.
Team 24 Cheeks to the Wind thanks you again!!! We’ll be back! – Jennifer Z.
You all pulled it off again! Another amazing race and a huge thank you to everyone who help put this all together, supported the runners and the runners. Already planning American Odyssey Relay 3.0 – David D.
Can we do it again next weekend? 😉 – Stephanie G.
Once again a FANTASTIC race! Thanks Bob Fleshner, Kelly, and all the fantastic volunteers! Can’t wait to do it again next year!!! – Julianne B.
American Odyssey Relay know’s how to host an event!! WOW, what a GREAT day of running! Thank you so much for an amazing experience!! – Kristin W.
Congratulations to all the runners yesterday/ today from Trans #25 – everyone was in such good spirits again this year. Such a fun event – yes: it was chilly, but it was rain-free again!! Now get some sleep 😉 – Christine J.
It was my first American Odyssey Relay, but it won’t be my last! – Lauren M.
Congrats and thanks for another AWESOME event. American Odyssey Relay 2013 is the best race I’ve ever run. – Dan C.
WOW, what about these medals. Very nice job, big improvement and was a hit. Great Race… Thanks to all volunteers who donated there time to support all the runners. – Steven N.
Good morning Bob – a quick note of thanks for your work putting together an exceptionally well organized and incredibly fun relay experience! Hope to run many in the future! – Adam (and on behalf of Team’s Top Run, Squads 1 & 2, teams 13 and 18)
American Odyssey Relay made Bourbon Chase look boring and unorganized, despite the free alcohol offered at many of the repetitive loops through the distilleries. It also made Ragnar look crowded and overly formal about rules. There’s something energizing about running along the Towpath in pitch-black darkness with only a distant taillight to follow and yay!, overtake a couple of miles in. – DC Road Runners
Thank you and everyone who volunteered for the American Odyssey Relay. It was an incredible event and so well organized. Our team appreciates everything that everyone did and is still doing for the event.
This was a life changing event for most of us on the our team and we had a great time! – Caroline S., Sandhills Striders
The volunteers are awesome! Thank you to each and every one that help to make this race so memorable. I have 2 medals from American Odyssey Relay in my collection and I think out of all the accomplishments that I have for running that these mean the most to me. Thanks again to Bob, Kelly, and everyone that makes this race happen. Looking forward to next time.. just as soon as I can get off my couch. – Glenn H.
I can tell you with 100% confidence that my team and myself had an amazing time and we are all still talking about it. For all of us who are experienced runners it was agreed that it was in a top running experiences ever. We will back next year for sure. – David
Best race ever…most fun I have ever had!!!! – Lisa L.
Awesome race…great times! – George L.
Thank you for putting on an amazing race. Thanks to all of the volunteers. It was my first American Odyssey Relay and I loved every minute! – Gretchen G.
Outstanding job. Thanks for all your hard work, we had a blast. Can’t wait for next year. – Michael S.
Great job! Team Sword Fish had a blast! – Michael M.
You and the entire American Odyssey Relay Team made a huge difference to our VIP Leg 12 runner! Your passion & compassion raise this relay to a HIGHER LEVEL than any other. – Laurie H.
Bob and crew… I want to say thanks for an amazing race experience! This was my first long distance relay and I’m now certain it will not be my last. I’m hooked! Our entire team had a very memorable time. We all thank you for putting on a first class event. We will be back in 2012! – Team RWB DC Warriors
You all put on an amazing race this weekend! I had such a great experience. Directionals and volunteers were amazing!! Thanks so much! – Lisa
The Sweaty Dozen had an absolute blast this year. Bob, Kelly, and the rest of the organizers did a phenomenal job with the logistics including some really awesome improvements over last year (can’t get over those sign lights!) Already getting people to commit to next year’s American Odyssey Relay! – Steve D.
Bob: Thank you for the incredible weekend. This was my second year and I loved it. I said many times that coordinating this race and all the many logistics, volunteers, and other details appears to parallel the complexities of a rocket launch. Thank you for all you and your team do to make this a reality to the hundreds of teams who participate. I look forward to next year. – Haley
You guys are the best!!! Thanks for organizing an awesome event… my team (and perhaps a new one, comprised of those who wish they were cool enough to compete this year) will definitely be back next year! I LOVE AMERICAN ODYSSEY RELAY! – Megan S.
Great job with organizing everything and making sure we had scenic runs. It was a wonderful experience! – Kimberly C.
Can’t wait for next year! – Jason N.
Another year, another great race! Thanks so much to everyone who helped make it happen! – Paula B.
Another great event, Bob & Kelly (and all of the support teams). The MMAMs had a great time and will be back for our 4th year in 2012. Thanks to all of the other teams who helped us out when Van 1 had a flat at the startline. Always an adventure! – Christy L.
AWESOME Race, Bob!!!!!! We especially like the fact that the finishing medals were designed especially for team Mixed Nuts. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! – Angi L.
Good times, Bob! We’ll be back in the future. Count on it. Can’t wait to hear the date for 2012. – Dan W.
Bob — we’re already thinking about next year! Maybe running as a 6 person team?!? We had a great time! – Nicole W.
Another great race Bob! Rebels Run Amok had a blast once again. Already looking forward to next year! – Thomas D.
Great event–very well organized! On behalf of Team M Train, a big thanks to all of the volunteers! – Aaron K.
Awesome job as usual, Bob and Kelly! Hoover’s Harriers had a wonderful time! We’ll be back again next year, guaranteed!! – David S.
Excellent race again this year. We had a Blast in van 2 of the Abominable Slow-Men!! – Fred S. II
Fantastic race! Team Hicks had a blast and we’ll be talking about the memories made this weekend for a long time! – Jodi Ball E.
Thank you for a wonderful event. Team Runs -n- Goses had an absolute blast and can’t wait to see you next year! – Rebecca P.
Great job Bob! It was a heck of a race! Can’t wait to do Southern Odyssey!!! – Mark V.
An awesome job, folks! And I must state, in my role as Union General Rehm, and unequivocally, that volunteering for the American Odyssey Relay is as much fun as running it, if not more! Retired Rebels Run Amok, Transition 32 at Riley’s Lock, had a wonderful day checking in and checking out the runners! – Catherine R.
You guys did a great job coordinating the whole thing, especially considering all the pre-relay course issues, during the relay issues, and the post-relay issues you had to handle. Hopefully American Odyssey Relay IV won’t be as chaotic. If they were all run like American Odyssey Relay – Gettysburg I’d have way too many relays to attend. You set the standard high for the rest of them. – Waylon
Hi Kelly, I just wanted to thank you for all your hard work this past week end and also for my pancake breakfast. I really enjoyed working for you and look forward to next year. – Kathy J.
Bob and Kelly – I wanted to personally thank you for organizing such an amazing race. I have never participated in such a relay race before and was blown away by the organization, team spirit, and overall support throughout the entire event. Not only did it bring our corporate team, The Wharf, together more, but it was great to see so many people motivated and excited to be apart of the event. This was truly a memorable experience that I look forward to being apart of next year.
You all did an incredible job and I will definitely spread the word about the American Odyssey Relay Race and what great causes you support. – Erin
This was Team Sasquatch’s third year at the Odyssey and we had a blast! Great volunteers, great race day execution, and great people. We’ll be back for Year 4 in 2012! – Barry C.
AWESOME RACE!!!! Fabulous volunteers…LOVED the cake!!! Beautiful scenery, challenging runs, wonderful people…HONESTLY, it just couldn’t have been better. If you had had this race in 1863, I wouldn’t have taken the train! Abe Lincoln (and his Studs and Babes) – Annette S.
Hands down, it’s the best running experience I ever had, PERIOD! This event is awesome. The event has everything you want in a long distance relay: scenic routes along some of the Country’s most historic and hallowed grounds; a Director with an excellent sense of humor and professionalism; enthusiastic volunteers; and the participants” the most creative and encouraging bunch of folks to ever don running shoes and race bib. I’m already looking forward to next year. – Matt S.
Bob, Now that it’s over and things are all past us for 2011…I just wanted to drop you a line and say congrats to you and the team on a great race. We had a blast yet again and I know Steve is regularly checking the website to try to get in on the early registration for next year. It looks like we might even have The Sweaty Dozen II for next year as well. Enjoy the time off and thanks for putting on a great race. You guys did great. – Thanks, Matt S.
Bob just a quick note to say what a great race you put on this year. We ran last year and this year and really enjoyed the improvements and our team had a great time. Better everything this year and the weather joined in too. Those temps were great and that course is a whole lot more beautiful when the temps are under 85 degrees! – Andrew P., (2010)
What a great, great time this weekend was! Thank you for putting so much time and energy into making an amazing race and for the extra bagels! We have been gushing to all of our friends about how fun it was and telling them they HAVE to do it next year. – Sera S., Right to Bare Legs (2010)
I had a great time at the relay, the people and volunteers were really helpful and kind. I can’t wait until next year. – Karen S., Mason-Dixson midnight runners (2010)
Every member of the team joins me in thanking you for the wonderful relay you put on! We all remarked on the fact that you seemed to be everywhere, all along the course. It is great to be a part of something like the American Odyssey Relay, where people are really dedicated to making it a good experience for the runners. We will definitely recommend this relay to others. All together it was a fabulous experience! Please send along our thanks to all the volunteers on the course as well. – Kathy B., Team Do Not Go Gentle (2010)
Thank you so much for organizing this event! My team consisted of all colleagues and we had a great time! We will definitely be encouraging our friends to create corp. teams and enter next year. What a great way to get to know your colleagues and bond in a setting very different from the work place! Who ever thought hanging out in a van for almost 32 hours would be so much fun! 🙂 – Catherine H., (2010)
Dear Bob — Right when we thought the American Odyssey Relay just couldn’t get any better, it did! This year was even more terrific than last year. How you pull the American Odyssey Relay together is beyond us. Just trying to organize our teams is like herding cats and that’s nothing compared to your job. We really appreciate everything you do to make the race such a great adventure! Whether you like or not, we WILL be back next year and expect to have numbers 1 and 2 again!! – Hugs, Rosie and Kay-Kay, Krybabies and Slackers (2010)
The Sweaty Dozen had such a great time with this year’s relay we’re already geared up to register for next year’s. When will that open? We want to make sure we don’t miss out on the early bird give-aways like we did this year! – Steve D., The Sweaty Dozen (2010)
Again your race was fabulous. This was my 4th relay and I think it was my favorite. – Mary C., Leg 2 of the Do Not Go Gently team
Quite simply the most fun you can have on two tired, swollen, stinky feet! I’m already looking forward to next year’s relay. Well done! – Juan F., Dudes from 874
Whoooo hoooo!!! I think I’m stuck on Odyssey relays! Cheers to Boy Scout Pancake breakfasts and the soft, green grass after leg 24! Loved it- and I look forward to seeing you guys on the course again very soon! – Lynne H., The Right to Bare Legs
Thank again for staging a tremendous event. The American Odyssey Relay course is spectacular, the volunteers amazing and the entire experience was an A+. Throwing nine of us into one van was the ultimate team-building experience–Beat the Reapers are ready to sign up again for next year’s event! – David L., Beat the Reapers
Thank you so much for a wonderful race. Our team had an absolute blast. I have been meaning to write you to tell you that the canal legs were lovely. – Jen W., Pickett’s Charge, Part Deux
We had more fun than any seven people “we had a driver” should have stuffed in a van for 24 plus hours with a little running now and again. – Shanon D., Yorkapalooza
Congratulations on an amazingly successful relay! The Wolf Pack is still fired up and reveling in all the fun times we had over the past two days. I can’t believe the race is really over. We’ve been planning and anticipating it for so long. What are we going to do with ourselves now?!!! Seriously, you did a tremendous job in putting together the race and we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Thank you for all that you did to ensure a great time for everyone. – Jenna L., The Wolf Pack
I want to thank you for an incredible experience. This was my 2nd relay race and I absolutely loved it. – Stephanie W., Lightning in a Bottle
Thanks so much for organizing such a great event. It was hard – really hard – but also allowed us all to get out of our box to see that we can meet new challenges. As a team, we had a great time; as a relay participant, it will be a memory of a lifetime! Your dedication and the wonderful volunteers who came out to make this happen just show it takes a community – and a van! – Holley M., The Wolf Pack
I know i am not the voice of experience here, but my whole team was blown out of the water. WE WILL BE BACK, stinky van, the sequel! – Greg L., Can I get in the Van? No ya’ stink!
The American Odyssey Relay was a great event! How do I know? About halfway through the race (and also at the end!) our scouts were already discussing and planning for next year’s race. – Bud H., The Dudes from 874
Bob, congratulations on a great race. What a spectacular course. We had a great time! – Andrew P., Sweaty Knight Mares
Thank you (and Kelly) for organizing such a wonderful experience. All of the MMAMs had a great time and we are coming back next year. In fact, there may be two teams from Mount Airy as there were several Moms who wanted to race this year but we didn’t have enough spots! – Christy L., Might Mount Airy Moms
Hi, Bob. What a great run and fun time with all the participants. (I was part of the Butt, Sweat, and Beers team). – Timothy W., Butt, Sweat and Beers
I just wanted to let you both know that I had a fantastic time on Saturday- from where I was standing everyone was having a great experience with the relay! Congrats!! – Kelly M., Volunteer
Just a great big thanks for putting together this adventure. This was my first race/relay EVER. What a way start out running…….an event this well done. The teams were first class all the way…….encouraging you while you ran…..even when you were the competition. It was heart-warming to see such good sportsmanship throughout the adventure. Thanks and much appreciation. Hope to have this much fun next year!! – Ann Marie C.
What more can one say but WOW to the whole Odyssey adventure! And special WOW’s to you, Kelly! Your communication prior to the event was excellent – I got to read them because Rhoda and I share the same email addy! It was great finally getting to meet you – and how many times did we see you during the course of the two-day race?? Unbelievable how involved and connected you were to us all throughout the race!
The epitome of your spirit and commitment was at the finish line late Saturday – you blowing bubbles for the children while we waited for teams to arrive!!! Your spirit seemed to be unquenchable Kelly! Enjoy your sense of reward for a job well done!
With the success and excitement of this year, I think we will see a lot more people involved next year! – Daryl L.
Thanks for an awesome event. This by far was more challenging and most rewarding race I have ever run. – Steven B., Black, Blue and Grey All Over
The Inaugural American Odyssey Relay was an absolutely incredible experience for our group Rebels Run Amok. The volunteer army was incredible. I saw Kelly Cameron at numerous transition areas during the event, making sure that volunteer support, port-o-potties, etc. were in place. Every single member of our team said that we want to do it again next year – how often does that happen after a challenging event? – Catherine R., Rebels Run Amok
Congratulations to you and your team on executing such a wonderful event! We, Team McLean, had an absolute blast. Some are already talking about the t-shirt design for next year’s race. It exceeded our expectations in every way and I expect this to be an even more popular event in the years to come. – Dean W., Team McLean
I just wanted to thank you for the great event you guys put on this weekend. I was proud to have participated and completed the inaugural running. The instructions, directions and courses were all fantastic. I’ve never done a race like this before but was very impressed by how smooth everything ran. – Dennis D., Phillies World Funkin’ Champions
Thanks for staging an unbelievable event. We had a fantastic memorable and challenging experience. Hope you made it to the Sun am after party. – Bronwyn W., Butt, Sweat and Beers
First and foremost: Great race!!!! We Hoosier lawyers (and 2 wannabees) absolutely loved our experience at your event. Excellent work for a first time event of this magnitude! – Craig B., Tortious Interference
I just wanted to once again thank you for all of your efforts in making the Relay so special. Very few people could have put something like this together; but even fewer could have done it “right.” You did it “right.” – Alan W., Beauties and the Beasts
The race was awesome…of course until the brutal heat and long 8.3mile leg my teammates stuck me with! All being said, I enjoyed the entire event and would love to come back next year. I’ve been highly recommending it and suggesting the event to our other training groups and customers without a second thought. Thank you! – Brian N., BRRC Lightning in a Bottle
Thanks SO much for the race! We had an awesome time. There’s been a chain of emails among our team this week about how we expected to be sore and tired after the race, but not homesick for our vans and van-mates as many of us have found ourselves! – Anni I., 6 Sixes and Fast Friends
On behalf of the entire Running with Scissors team, congratulations on an incredible event you and your team have put together! We all had a fantastic experience and hope to run the race again next year! – Richard K., Running With Scissors
Thanks for a great race! Our team (Team Sasquatch) had a blast and enjoyed every minute of the race. None of us really knew each other but since the race there has continued to be good communication and camaraderie – 4 people are even meeting in the mornings for daily runs now.
Also, please pass on our thanks to Kelly and the volunteers – they were simply outstanding. See you next year – – Barry C., Team Sasquatch
Team BBG here. I just wanted to say thanks for organizing this race. What an amazing race! Its awesome to take 12 people who haven’t spent more than an hour or two together, throw them into an intense 29 hour race (as it was) and have them still smiling and having fun at the end. My most prominent memory is when I handed a half finished bottle of water to a runner from another team in DC…and she took it. Thanks, thanks, thanks! Happy running. – Christine W., Black, Blue and Grey All Over
My teammates and my excellent support staff of van drivers and cheerleaders were astounded and awed by how supportive you and everyone else out on the race course was. You made us feel very special in a time when we also tend to feel a bit like cannon fodder. Vans and runners passing us cheered our team the whole length of the course and random runners walked up to us and thanked the Soldiers. We were all moved by the outpouring of affection. The race itself was even better than I could have imagined. It was grueling but oh so satisfying! Perhaps the best part of it for me was seeing my guys reach down to find that little something extra they needed to get over the next rise and the realization of the fact that their own abilities are greater than even they realized reflected in their eyes. – Jessica O., Team 525
I’m still amazed at how well organized the race was. As a Realtor, putting out directional signs for an open house can be a pain — but to do this for a 200+ mile course is beyond my imagination. The volunteers, maps, directions and “camp Boonsboro” were all fantastic. I’m still in awe knowing how challenging these types of events can be. – Bruce L., Rebels Run Amok