Different Distance Relays: Not Everyone is Crazy

blog4Here at American Odyssey Relay, we obviously LOVE relay races…and we believe ALL runners would enjoy nothing more than participating in our overnight relay – why wouldn’t they?!  But, as we’ve grown older and wiser, we’ve begun to appreciate that not everyone shares the same amount of crazy.  Believe it or not, not all runners have ‘sleep on a gym floor’ or ‘drive around for 2 days with a bunch of un-showered teammates’ on their bucket list! And, also hard to believe, but some runners actually have families and important jobs and crap like that, which makes it difficult for them to up and leave for 2 days.  Luckily, just like there are different kinds of runners, there are several different kinds of relays, ranging from the 200+ mile overnight type to relays of marathon distance and everything in between!

Soo…is an overnight relay the thing for YOU?  Take our short quiz below to find out, then post a comment to let us know if your results match your ‘relay self-image!’  The funniest comments, as chosen by our team of Funniness Experts, will receive some swag…and the team with the most comments will get props as well!


1. The following best describes my need for sleep:

a.  Screw sleep, I’ll sleep when I’m dead.

b.  I have children. I pulled all-nighters in college.  Sometimes I still do.  Thus, I am quite adaptable to varying amounts of ….. zzzzzzzzz …… (huh? I was just resting my eyes!)

c.  I prefer a solid 10 hours/night and can only sleep on lavender-scented sheets with a white noise machine going.

d.  I like to sleep. But when I do, I have nightmares about running…


2.  The following best describes how I feel about regular showering/general fastidiousness:

a.  Screw showering. Takes too much time and disrupts my natural pheromones.

b.  I appreciate cleanliness, but mud and sweat are a badge of honor!

c.  I shower twice a day, three times if I go for a run, and I never miss a day of exfoliation.

d.  Running is a dirty, dirty sport. Yuck.


3.  The following best describes how I feel about being in close proximity to people for long periods of time:

a. Screw alone time. I feel a kinship with the entire human race.  I love everyone and believe strongly in group hugs.

b.  I’m good with it, as long as we don’t have to share our innermost feelings at 2:00 AM when it’s cold and I’m tired and cranky.

c.  Six people in a van, overnight. Oh, HELLZ NO!

d.  I like to be around runners. Because they reinforce my conviction that running is evil.


4.  The following best describes how I feel about running:

a.  Screw those non-runners! I love running. I’m always out running.  In fact, I’m running right now.

b.  My dream is to someday be able to choose “A” for this question…

c.  My life often gets in the way of my running. Every year, “increase mileage” is one of my New Year’s resolutions. We all know how that goes.

d.  In the absence of being chased by something deadly, ummm…maybe I’d run half a block, to make the bus. But only if it’s raining.


5.  The following best describes my feelings about adventure and challenge:

a. Screw you pansies, you think this overnight running stuff is a challenging adventure? Let me tell you about the time I…never mind, you pansies wouldn’t understand.

b.  I’ll try anything once, especially if my friends tell me it’ll be fun. This one time in college….ummm, yeah, my mom still doesn’t know about that.

c.  I love adventures! Short adventures that don’t take up my whole day..  After adventuring, I prefer a shower and my own bed with the lavender-scented sheets.

d.  Sometimes I use the self-checkout line at the grocery store, even if it means I have to walk a bit further…and as long as I don’t have any complicated produce.


Scoring:  Each A = 4 points, B = 3, C = 2, D = 1



16-20:   You were born to do an overnight relay!  In fact, you’ve probably already done one.  Or ten.   Did you know that the American Odyssey Relay has ultra teams, if you are looking for a little more challenge?  Instead of running three legs of about 5-6 miles each,, every member of an ultra team will run twice that.  You can do the math!

11-15:  You definitely have what it takes to do an overnight relay, although you might still have a few reservations about actually signing up.  Just go ahead and register for the American Odyssey Relay, already!  Yes, 30-ish hours is a significant time commitment,  and sleeping in a van or on a gym floor might not sound ideal…but we promise you will love the experience and make memories that will last a lifetime.  As you traverse the 200+ mile course from Gettysburg to D.C., you’ll get to run three beautiful legs, for a total of 14-21 miles.   The camaraderie and teamwork, the gorgeous scenery, the laughter and silliness, the great post-race party…those things will more than make up for the little inconveniences.  What are you waiting for?

6-10:   Maybe you’re not quite ready for the overnight variety of relay…try one of our one-day options.  Single-day relays offer a lot of the same fun experiences as overnight relays.  You still get to spend 5 or so hours with your running friends, run about 5-17 miles total, and show off your team’s creativity through your funny/clever team name and van decorating skills.  You still get cool swag and the satisfaction of contributing to two worthwhile charities.  And best of all, at the end of the day you get to go home, shower, and sleep in your own bed!  If this sounds like your type of event, check out the Potomac Odyssey Relay, a 58-mile relay that is run concurrently with the second day of the American Odyssey Relay, or, if you’d rather wait until fall, try the Rock the Creek Relay, a fun, 29-mile out-and-back relay experience in Rock Creek Park, MD.

1-5:  Maybe you should take up knitting.  However, the fact that you actually took this quiz indicates that you have interest in some aspect of the relay experience.  Maybe consider stepping outside the box a little and volunteering with us!  You’ll get to find out what a relay is like, without having to make the commitment to actually RUN one.  We promise you will have a great time!  All you need is a good sense of humor, some energy, and a desire to have fun!  An average shift is about 4–5 hours long and if you sign up early enough, you can pick your location.  If your New Year’s resolution was to try something new and adventurous, try signing up for one of the middle-of-the-night time slots.  Volunteers tend to love these because it’s the most concentrated time of the race, when you’ll get to see and interact with the most runners.  Sound interesting?  Click here for more information and for a link to volunteer registration.

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Comments 17

  1. Why do I let my friends talk me into doing crazy races like this? Maybe I need new friends?!?!? Who am I kidding, I need more friends like these!

  2. 16 points.

    I’m the kind of runner who thinks these relays are all too easy, since they’re at the wrong time of the year for freezing rain, and don’t involve barbed wire, buckets of gravel, or 8′ tall walls. And hardly anyone’s wearing a weighted backpack.

    I love back-to-back OCRs or rucks, which is great prep for the AOR – doing something stupid during the day and also the night before or after.

  3. I love all kinds of races and relays equally. Distance does not matter. I am not concerned with hills. I am not a runner. I am always ready to volunteer to work transition sites for AOR.

  4. While I got 16 points, I’m the crazy one who talks the other crazies into doing overnight relays. My team somehow calls me captain even after we’ve done 4 different relays.

    They still call me captain when I’ve given the death look going up super duper crazy hard hills. The look was meant for my van and ended up at my other van. Oops. They still talk about having nightmares…

    They still call me captain when at 3am at Hoosangs Diner/Gas Station/Movie Rental place, I declared, while eating the only healthy thing on the menu…a grilled cheese sandwich, “I’ll just be THAT one. Let’s call it. Our van is being beaten up (we didn’t know it was a trail relay. Oops again.), we are being beaten up. Let’s just go to a hotel.” My teammates jumped to life (I thought they were dead) and instantly said “NO!! We WILL do this! Quitting isn’t even an option!!!”

    They still call me captain when I’ve convinced my team that running the AOR will be so much fun that a 14-15 hour van ride to/from Searcy, AR to Gettysburg/DC will be worth it! Just think of how many more stories we’ll have with extra days in the van! 😄

  5. Only 13 for me but bc I’m somewhere between chill and always up for a challenge!

    This is my 3rd relay and I’m pretty excited! And yes, our captain is crazy!

  6. Marnie – Soul Runners
    12 points
    I committed to my first relay after conquering a fear and summiting a mountain near Lake Tahoe. Air was thin, I got a call, I said yes, I came down the mountain, and then freaked out over what I had committed to. I’m not strong. I’m slow. I’m no fun. I will whine a lot.
    Went to the relay in Texas and it was hot. So hot that during the first run, I told complete strangers I was from MInnesota, truly a Nordic princess, and I couldn’t do this. But, even though I was further traumatized by having to pee on the great open plains of Southern Texas, I made it and signed up for another!
    American Oddessy will be my third. Can’t wait!

  7. I’m on Team Soul Runners and I scored an 18 because I am a little crazy!Two years ago on our first 200 mile relay race together we were pretty much strangers…..now we are family! I’m sure when they heard my name among the 12 runners they were thinking WHAT? WHO? They saw an over 50, over weight, over heating hot flashing female who does not “look” like a runner. But that’s the beauty of running. We aren’t made from cookie cutters so we look different, run different (I’m more of a slow starter then taper off!) and have different roles. I like to think that my role is to cheer everyone on and be an encourager. I’m not going to lie though, I’m really in it for the hardware! Yep, if there are medals and t-shirts involved, I’m all in! So see ya at the finish……I will be the one wearing a medal, a smile and pee soaked shorts! 😉

  8. Well, it’s pretty clear that Team Soul Runners takes home the prize! And, Barbara, we love your post–did you see the post of this year’s medal on Facebook? We are happy to send you all some swag, but we need an address because we’re not seeing your registration yet.

  9. This will be my 5th relay with soul runners. Just love it except for: waking up from a dose with bugs crawling on me, having teammates lieing to me about no more hills, hearing laughing & singing from my van while trying to make it up a 1 1/2 mile mountain in the dark, having to watch for boulders coming down, spilling half my coffee from shivering in 20 degree weather in wet clothes, sweating when stepping out of the van in 90 degree weather before a 5 mile run, having teammates holler at you to go faster when you can barely move, being excited to see a portapotty but see line of 15, wondering if only reason daughter in law (captain) invited you was expecting inheritance , ….. Just weigh the bad and good. I’m all in

  10. We REALLY are going to sign up. Angela, our fearless captain, spoke to someone about mailing in a check, etc. We are so good our team has a sponsor!! Well……we have a sponsor with a check….tee hee hee!
    Yes, I saw the medal and I am pumped!!!
    My hubby and I are headed to LA in the morning so we can run the marathon on Valentines Day. They sent an email about a double medal if you ran the California Ragnar and the marathon. ….I was bummed. …..I’m screaming through the computer saying I ran Madison to Chicago Ragnar!!!! That’s the same, RIGHT????? 😉
    Checks in the mail, Bob 🙂
    THANKS! !!

  11. Some how I ended up with 14 points even though I hate running. My wife is our crazy captain who’s tried to get us to quit in the middle of a race before. The rest of my team gives me a hard time because I don’t start training until the week of the race. It’s very common for the rest of my team to Yell at me that I’m not fast enough and that I should run faster! “for Pete’s sake”, maybe I’ll train for this race!

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