ST. GEORGE – The Redrock Relay, which launched in 2009 at Zion, came to Dixie this year for the first time Saturday, with 56 six-person teams racing through St. George, Veyo, Snow Canyon, Gunlock, and other surrounding areas on a 64.25-mile loop.
Redrock Relay is a long distance relay that traditionally combines camping and costumes and running and teamwork, all staged in beautiful places with an emphasis on fun and friendship. Runners who love running, but can’t face the ominous distance of a marathon, have found team relays give them the support they need, at a distance they can handle, and with twice the scenery.
Redrock participants are known to wear costumes ranging from wigs and masks to superhero outfits and tutus. Runners and their crews have created a community of friends and family who support their mutual running addictions, and are welcoming to all levels of runners.
And then there are the support vehicles. Part of the character of the Redrock Relay is the caravan of vehicles, covered in team colors and signs, tracking their teams. The team names broadcast from the vehicles – Mother Truckers, Heels up Hammer Down, Just-us League, to name a few in Saturday’s race – as the vehicles follow racers along the course carrying cheering teammates, supplies, and providing much needed rest as the teams rotate through the 12 legs of the race.
Fans of the relay were elated this year with the addition of two new one-day races in the series: Dixie started the 2013 series and Park City will end it. In between those two are the original Moab and Zion relays, Moab being a one-day race similar to Dixie but with different scenery; Zion being the longest at two days in September, covering 187 miles and an 8,000 foot change in elevation from Brian Head to Zion National Park. Earlier this year, Forbes named the Zion Redrock Relay one of the top-five relay runs to travel for.
In a state that experiences a lot of snow this time of the year, the Dixie location was timed to give runners a chance to shake the winter lull, get fresh air, enjoy the Southern Utah scenery and get primed for the rest of the series. With a good turnout, it appears to have done that notwithstanding some light rain and even snow at the higher elevations between Gunlock and Snow Canyon.
“The Redrock Relay was a beautiful and challenging relay, and the course was awesome,” runner Bryanna Kershaw said. “The teams were amazing, as were the people who put it on.”
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Race Schedule 2013: Dixie – March 9 / Moab – May 11 / Zion – Sept. 13-14 / Park City – Oct. 12
Website for information and race registration; Red Rock Relay
Email: [email protected]
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