If you want to get a better sense of how long it will take you and your team to run, check out our relay race calculator for TEAMS of 12 created by one of our relay participants!
- A map;
- An elevation chart;
- Detailed turn by turn directions with mileage for each segment noted;
- Van directions; and
- Points of interest including sightseeing opportunities, bathrooms and food availability.
As with previous years, the race will start in Gettysburg, PA in the shadow of the Civil War battlefields. We strongly recommend that you take full advantage of the amazing Gettysburg National Military Park by arriving early.
From Gettysburg we will head out to Fairfield, PA. We will cross a beautiful covered bridge, climb a monster hill (leg 6), run the dirt roads in Michaux State Forest (twice) and slowly begin to make our way toward MD. Our Gettysburg/Fairfield running buddy, Nancy Petrosky, has her fingerprints all over this fantastic part of the course.
It will be getting dark as many runners cross the famed Mason-Dixon line from the old north into the old south. Leg 12 will end at Smithsburg High School. Smithsburg High cross country coach Ray Shriver has been great at working with us on this portion of the course.
From Smithsburg you will run through Boonsboro and Keedysville and then to the Price Farm at the end of leg 17 where Wendy Price and her family will greet you in the middle of the night with fun stuff! You’ll arrive at night in Antietam Battlefield. We will run through the battlefield during the middle of the night and on into the wee hours of the morning. From Antietam we will head to Shepherdstown, WV and the Bavarian Inn for a great early morning transition 24, complete with a pancake breakfast, before coming back towards Harpers Ferry, another famous Civil War landmark. Along the way to DC we will pass historic Riley’s Lock and Great Falls, MD
The final runner will get to run over the Key Bridge into VA and then back over the 14th Street Bridge before finishing with teammates at the SW Waterfront in Washington, DC. Our finish line party improves every year and we will keep that pattern going this year!
We hope you love this course as much as we do!
Team Captain Responsibilities
Okay, it all starts with you. You are large and in charge! Pull together a group of your favorite running buddies and become a benign despot. Set rules. First one? NO WHINING! Others? Up to you. Get your team registered and then tell your teammates to go online and register themselves. You pay the fee, they pay you. You can register a team without all 12 members being known and without a final team name. That can all come later. It’s easy, you’ll see. Questions will come up along the way.
Do you need to check who is on your team or manage your team members? Use the button below to manage your team. You will need the team code you received upon registration.
To find answers to your questions, first check this site, most particularly the FAQs. If you don’t find an answer, send us your question. We’ll get you straightened away. We’re accessible and happy to help. It’s the fun part of our job!
As team captain you are responsible for pulling the team together, assigning tasks to different teammates, assigning legs to be run, getting your volunteers lined up and registered, etc. Yes, it is some work, but, ultimately, it’s a ton of fun!
Enjoy the ride!
2022 Handbooks and manifesto for American Odyssey and Potomac Odyssey Relay will be posted closer to race day.
Van Rental Information
Please note the following info about vans:
Please try to stick to only minivans or 7-8 passenger SUVs. We have a few transition areas that are really small and cannot accommodate larger vehicles. We might give you a mildly disapproving look if we see you driving a 10-12 passenger vehicle. Fifteen passenger, church-style vans are entirely prohibited from transition 19 and are otherwise frowned upon. Motor homes and oversized limos are completely prohibited from the entire course.
We are pleased to again be partnering with the Wyndham Gettysburg and Courtyard Gettysburg as our headquarters hotels. Wyndham and Courtyard are located right at the start of event. Reservations details to follow.
Courtyard Marriott or call 800-228-9290
Although a bit further from the start, the Bavarian Inn in historic Shepherdstown, WV, is also a good option. It’s located at Transition 24. Call for reservations: 304-876-2551. Please note that room rates are for 2 people per room. For each additional person over double occupancy per room, add $10.00 per person plus taxes. There is a 3 person maximum per room.
Additional supplies to the room, such as towels, toiletries, etc., are available at the front desk and will be subject to a fee based on the item that is requested, for example, additional sets of towels will be $50.00 per set. The fee is payable at the front desk at the time of request.
We appreciate the support of the Bavarian Inn – they are very busy during the relay. Please be courteous to the other guests, particularly if you are coming and going late at night or early morning. Any complaints from a Bavarian Inn guest whose stay is disrupted by Odyssey Relay Race participants will be forwarded to Hotel Security. Odyssey Relay Race participants, who disturb guests, will be responsible for those guest’s hotel room night’s stay and charged accordingly.
Check In and Check Out Times: Check in time is 3:00 pm. Room Assignments prior to this time are based on availability. Check out time is 12:00 pm. Late checkouts, which are not authorized, will be charged for an additional night at the contracted nightly rate. Check in and check out times should be strictly observed.
Late Arrivals and Early Departures: All room reservations must be guaranteed for their full length of stay. Late arrivals and early departures will be charged the contracted nightly rate per night dropped.
No Shows: No shows will be charged the contracted nightly rate for the first night’s stay.
Individual Reservations: Individuals responsible for paying their own room and tax, must call and make reservations directly with the reservations department. The guest must also provide credit card information.
Individual Cancellation Policy: Individuals will have a 48 hour (2 days) cancellation policy. Individuals will be responsible for one night’s room and tax without proper cancellation notification.
We are very excited about our beautiful finish at The Wharf again this year. The Wharf is beautiful, spectacular and has lots of great restaurants, shops and beautiful space to relax. And there are a few hotels at the finish.
Hyatt Hotel – details to follow
Intercontinental Hotel – details to follow
The information below describes the length and difficulty of each leg and contains specific points of interest. Clicking on the link will open a printable PDF for the leg noted. The PDFs are broken out into two pages each for ease of use. One page contains the map, elevation chart and runner directions. The other page contains the van directions and points of interest.
Please also consult the Leg Difficulty Chart to see our view of how the legs stack up against each other. Remember that the Leg Difficulty Chart is purely subjective. Part of the fun of the relay is arguing about which legs are more difficult and why!
Please Note: Distances on the PDFs are per segment, whereas distances on the interactive maps are cumulative. That’s why they don’t match exactly. These maps are pretty close to exact, but they aren’t perfect. Neither are GPS devices. If you find that your GPS device measures the leg differently by .1 or even .2 on a long leg, please don’t get cranky on us! Feel free to email us about larger discrepancies a few days after the event if you are concerned.