July 17, 2005
A Snail’s Pace alerted me to this relay event, covering the entire distance of the Mountains to Sea trail (from Orange to Newport Beach). Like many of the other Snail’s Pace events, the intent is less about getting together a team of folks to run the fastest time, but to have a fun experience.
Anyone who wanted to participate submitted his best 10K time on one side of an index card and his name on the other. Teams were formed by adding up times and picking teams to be as even as possible.
Each team had 5 members (each running about 3.5 miles), plus Dave Parsel who was running the whole thing solo.
What struck me in particular was that each time we came to a transition area, most or all of the teams were there. In a normal relay event, you might face this situation at the very beginning, but it does not persist the further you get into the event… but at each of the transitions, there were most or all of the teams.
The first person to finish was Dave (of course, since he was the fastest guy there), but the difference between the first place team and the last (6th) place team was 3 minutes. This wonderful experience convinced me that should I put on a relay, it should be done in this manner – assigning people to teams to make even squads – and having everyone finish relatively close together – and thus increase the camaraderie of everyone involved.