FAQ

General

How many legs are there?

Relay Legs?  36.     People Legs?  Thousands.

How many members are there on a team?

Up to 12.  If you plan on running with fewer than 8, then perhaps you should contact us so that we know that you know what you're getting yourself into!  (And, so that we don't think your team is languishing as the race nears and you only have 6 on your team.)

I've heard that most teams take 2 vans. How does that work?

Every team is allowed up to 2 vehicles (or more with written consent), and most teams choose to go with 2 vans. Many prefer large 12 or 15-passenger vans, but many have used minivans, and it's worked out just fine (just with less space).  A team could go all in one large 15-passenger van, but this will result in the team having few opportunities to stray off the course as they will always need to get the next runner to the next exchange. Having 2 vans allows one van to cut away for awhile (this van is called the "resting van") while the other van with the next several runners (the "active" van) takes care of the relaying for awhile until they switch. For example, a team of 12 could take both vans to almost all the exchanges, but then when it gets towards evening, one van could have the runners for legs 19 - 24 (finishing at Lake Dallas Middle School at Exchange 24), while the other van of 6 goes to the middle school to catch a few winks.  Then, shortly after the leg 24 runner begins their leg finishing at exchange 24, the current active van will call the resting van to let them know that the exchange in Lake Dallas will be happening in about 30 minutes.  Then, the two vans will switch roles when the leg 24 runners hands off to the leg 25 runner... the van that had been resting will now become the Active van, handling legs 25-30, and the one that took care of legs 19-24 will have a few hours to rest before meeting back up with the team (most likely at Exchange 30).

Does the relay run overnight?

Yeppers... for real!

Will I get to sleep?

 Maybe.  If so, it probably will not be the most amount of sleep you've ever had at one time.

Are there Rules? Where can I find them?

Yes, there are rules designed with everyone's safety in mind, for teams to compete fairly, and to keep the race moving smoothly.  They are linked here, and upon registering, you are required to check the box to indicate that you are aware of the rules and agree with the release of liability.

Do teams need to provide volunteers?

NO!  Lone Star Relays is pleased to not place this burden on teams (it can be a bit of a hassle!) or to charge teams an additional fee for not providing volunteers (like almost every other long distance relay does).  At the same time, if someone would like to help out, please let us know - that would be awesome!

Can teams of fewer than 8 runners participate?

Yes, but please contact us if this is your plan.  If you're new to long distance relays, we may try to talk you out of this (lol).  Also, it does make a difference on when your start time should be.

What pace do I need to run to participate?

What is the average team pace? Teams need to be able to move along the course at about a 11:00-11:15 per mile pace or faster.  Keep in mind, though, that the 11:00 pace required does not mean that every runner has to be able to run that.  If a team has a runner that runs 9:00 pace, then that offsets a 13:00 pace runner on the same team.  If a team wants to participate in the RRR, but does not think  they can run this pace, they can sign up as an "Untimed" team.  Untimed teams are allowed to periodically forego traditional hand-offs, starting some runners early, in order to move along the course at a faster rate.  For example, if a team starts their next runner 15 minutes early on 4 different occasions (remembering, of course, to not leave their runner that's coming in!), that team will "save" an hour (which works out to ~20 secs per mile).  Of course, these teams are separated out in the final results as we will not know their actual time.  In the 2011 TIR, a team with a number of walkers were able to complete the relay in this fashion. The average pace for all the teams is ~8:50min/mile, which results in an average finishing time of just under 25 hours.  In our experience, we know that teams almost always run faster than they think they will.... that's just how it is... we don't know why!

What time does the relay start and end?

We work with each team to establish a predicted pace. Almost every team sandbags, meaning the average of the paces submitted ends up being a bit slower than what they will run, but we know that is not your team (lol)!  These predicted times help us slot every team's start time.  The slowest teams - those looking to run between 10:00 and 11:00 min/mile - start earliest on Saturday morning.  The first team will start at 6:00AM. Then, the majority of teams will receive start times in the 7:00 to 11:00AM time frame.  Finally, the really speedy folks start in the afternoon, with the very fastest typically starting after 2PM. Those very fastest teams will reach the finish first... and actually quite a bit ahead of the pack.  A good number of  teams reach downtown Dallas between 9 -11am on Sunday, with some teams finishing in the early afternoon.

Captain

What are the responsibilities of team captains?

Team Captains are leaders!  Their first responsibility is to commit to the event so that others will 

follow their lead... otherwise, friends could talk forever about maybe someday doing a relay.  After that, Team Captains make decisions as well as pass on important info to their team.  They are enthusiastic, and they encourage the team!

How do I register?

First, decide whether your team is entering conventionally (paying for the whole team at once) or by having each team member pay individually (which can be A LOT more convenient for the Team Captain). Once you know that, click on the register button to easily sign up your team.  After selecting to register as a team captain, you'll be presented with an entry form which asks for some team information... Don't be concerned if you do not know the team's name, song, pace, etc.  All of this information can be provided later.  The only initial information required is your own information (name, email, address, DOB, password, shirt and sock sizes, and 10K pace).  You'll select whether payment will be made for the entire team or individually, you'll read the rules and liability release (and click that you have done so), and then you'll click submit!  Further down the page will allow you to buy a few extra items.  You may want to buy an extra shirt or socks for your faithful roadies (team support people).  Make your selections and then click submit! The next screen is the "Invoice" page which will show the total of your purchase.  After you click submit this time, you will be sent to Paypal where you will complete your registration by remitting payment.  All major credit cards are accepted, and you do not need a Paypal account to make payment.  The whole process is easy and should not take any longer than 5 minutes (but no judgment if it takes you longer). 

Do I need a complete team to register?

No.  In fact, many teammates do not commit until after the team captain does!  We do want teams to be complete about a month before the race, but if last minute changes need to be made... so be it! (But,  please do understand that we will do our best to accommodate for shirt sizes, but we can not totally guarantee the correct shirt sizes for these late changes.)

What kind of team do we make?

We're sure that you make a TOTALLY AWESOME team!!! Oh, you're asking about the team categories!  The TIR has the categories of Mens, Womens, and Mixed teams in the Open, Masters, Veterans, and Corporate divisions.  To be in the Masters division or Veterans division, everyone on the team must be over 40 or 50 years of age, respectively, on the day of the race.  Corporate teams must have registered as a corporate team (higher fee) and have over half of the team members be from the organization.  Mixed teams require at least 1 male and 3 females.  Women's teams are comprised 100% of females, so if a team is made of all women with the exception of one guy (XY chromosomes), then this would make a mixed team.  Men's teams can have up to 2 women on the team, and still be categorized as a men's team.  Be clear that this is merely a team categorization and not a statement made about these people / women!  We have witnessed women on "men's teams" who indeed were undoubtedly females!

How do I find teammates?

Teammates are all around you -  All you have to do is ask!  If you run with a small group, belong or know of a running club, frequent a running store, workout at a gym, have work colleagues, or connect with others in just about any kind of social club, we know you can find a team.  Facebook is also an effective tool to use to find others who would love to join you for the RRR adventure!

What kinds of decisions should I make (or help my team make)?

Here are a few....

Team:

What will your team name be?

What are you doing to demonstrate your awesome and fun Texan Spirit?

Who's running which legs?

 

Sleeping Arrangements:

Staying in Denison on Friday night?

Staying at the Lake Dallas MS on Saturday night? (Highly recommended - a $5 per person “suggested donation” is a local fundraiser.  Trying to work out a hotel in Saturday during the race can be challenging.)

Staying in Dallas Sunday night?

 

Food:

Everybody bringing their own?

Is the team purchasing food to share?

Do you plan to eat at restaurants along the course?

 

Transportation:

Renting vans or using your own vehicles?

Will you have roadies or team moms? (Typically, these support people act as drivers, navigators, and morale boosters.)

 

Other:

Are you going to hang out at the get-together in Denison on Friday night, October 22nd?

Who's responsible for decorating the van(s)?

Can you give me a general timeline?

Check out the “Important Dates” at the bottom of the RRR homepage… this basically serves as the timeline of the event!

What kind of equipment should my team bring?

TEAM:

- At least 2 flashlights or headlamps.  (Required at check-in)  Every runner starting a leg after 7PM must run with a flashlight or headlamp until sunrise on Sunday.

- At least 2 reflective vests or belts. (Required at check-in)  As with the lights, every runner starting a leg after 7PM must run with a flashlight or headlamp until sunrise on Sunday. (Other lights, such as large belt buckle lights are fine in lieu of a flashlight or headlamp.)

- LED blinking lights (Highly recommended.)

- First-aid kit

- Vehicles (not to exceed 24 feet in length)

- IDs for team members.  (IDs for master or veteran teams could be checked at check-in.)

- Stop watches, clipboard, pens

- Cooler with ice

- Snacks, drinks, etc.

- Maps (course maps, Houston, and Texas road maps)

- Cell phones

- Baby wipes, spray bottles, or some other creative washing method

- team toilet paper

- Picnic blanket, tarp, and maybe even club tent for finish line area.

INDIVIDUAL:

- Extras of the required items an individual may want to bring (reflective vest, blinkies, flashlight, etc.)

- Phone / Camera

- Cap or visor

- Clothes (for changing after runs, and also for all kinds of surprising weather... hot, cold, windy)

- Change of shoes

- Plastic bags for damp clothing

- Dog deterrent

- Sleeping bag, pillow, toiletries, sunscreen, sunglasses

- Water bottle

- Sandals or flip-flops for between runs

- Money for meals, etc.

What if a teammate bails at the last moment?!

First, a little bit of prevention goes a long way towards keeping teammates committed.  Ensuring that 

your teammates have a little skin in the game simply works!  Some team captains collect all of the entry fees upfront, indicating that these are “non-refundable”.  Also, keep your team members engaged by reminding them of the upcoming RRR frequently.  Finally, explicitly communicate your expectation that your team members not flake out, but IF for some reason they think they may back out it is absolutely imperative that they let you know as soon as possible.  It is one thing to find a sub a few weeks out from the event - very doable.  It is a little more difficult to find a replacement runner a day or two from the race.  In advance, have a couple of potential substitute teammates lined up, just in case one of your teammates can not run.  Also, keep in mind, that you can run the RRR with 

fewer teammates.  If you have a team of 12 (so that everyone plans to run 3 legs), but one bails, then your team of 11 could run it with 8 running 3 legs and 3 running 4).  For this reason, many teams go for having teams of 12 - so that if 1 or 2 can't run, they are still okay. In the last couple of weeks, activity on the Lone Star Relay facebook page will be increased (with teams looking for replacements).  If your team has already paid for a whole team's entry fee, or your team has paid individually, reaching 12 members, we do not charge any fee for this substitution.  However, all teammates must register in order to acknowledge the rules and liability release before running in the relay.

How do I divide the legs?

Unlike most overnight relays, the TIR allows flexibility in team size as well as for the allocation of the legs!  The largest determining factor in how much everyone on the team is running is the team size.  Runners on teams of 8 will run about 25 miles each, while runners on teams of 12 will run ~17 miles on average over the course of the weekend. If you have a newer runner who doesn't run much, you can give this runner 3 of the shorter legs so that they are only running about 12 miles in total with breaks in between!  Or, you can give your mileage junky the longer legs.  You can have runners do back-to-back legs, if that works best for your team.  Your team should split the number of legs as evenly as possible, but exceptions are allowed (illness / injury). We primarily don’t want anyone feeling like their team is preventing them from running their “fair share” of legs.

Do I need to keep track of times?

Use the Relay App! It’s easy, fun, and informative… and it definitely helps race staff monitor the event.

A couple of captains' Tips of the Trade!

Ruth Fields, Multi-year captain of the Raging Aging, had this to share: “Every year, we print out a detailed schedule with one copy for each van.  (My husband, a retired Army officer, calls it an “operations order.”)  The schedule lists every exchange and includes who is in which van, who is running and in what order.  It’s idiot proof, or should I say, friendly to those who are sleep deprived and not thinking properly.  The schedule also tells approximately how much time each vanload can spend at the junior high gym to allow for travel time.  It works very well!

 

Craig Potts, A Multi-year participant on a number of teams and a Team Captain, informed us that: It's a good idea to print out the leg directions, have them laminated, and then cut them up into the individual legs so that your teammates can carry them on their leg without them getting totally destroyed beyond recognition.

What are legs?

Legs are defined distances in a race that individual teammates are slated to run.  The RRR has 36 legs of various lengths.  They average right at about 4.5 miles, and a majority of the legs are between 3.5 and 5.5 miles.

Is the RRR course hilly?

We’ve learned that “hilly” is a very subjective term.  The RRR has a few  rolling hills, however we would say that the course is predominately flat.  That's not to say that there are no hills... 

Is it dark at night?

Usually.

Where can I find the course description?

Between the Course Maps, Leg Descriptions, and Written Directions (typically very close-to-finalized a couple of months out and then completely-finalized about a couple of weeks out (with the smallest of tweaks)), runners will have all the info they will need.

Is the course marked? How?

Yes, the course is marked.  Primarily, you will be on the lookout for painted (temporary chalk) arrows, cones, or other signage where there are turns.  That said, it is imperative for every runner to know their legs so that they could run them with no markings whatsoever!  Use the markings as confirmations that you're on the route rather than completely relying upon on them.

How do we know where to exchange?

The course maps and files provided on the website are detailed, and they have the precise coordinates of where each exchange is located.  When you are coming upon an exchange, you will find it easy to recognize.  There is event marking on the pavement, a pop-up tent, and more.  There almost always are other people at the exchanges, and at night the exchanges are lit.  You won't need to worry about noticing the exchanges, but you will want to make extra sure that you are going to the right one!  The first exchange is AFTER leg 1, Exchange 2 is at the end of leg 2, and so on!

Are food and water available on the course?

Yes and no. There may be exchange points where a kind sponsor may provide food, and there are certainly many restaurants along the route. We have even heard stories of exceptionally benevolent teams! BUT, if you are counting on the RRR to feed you throughout, then you may be in for quite an arduous endeavor!  In all seriousness, it is up to the teams to bring or acquire their own food and hydration.

Are there restrooms on the course?

Yes, there are portable restrooms at almost every exchange! 

Safety

Where do I sleep?

While there are hotels throughout the north side of DFW that are plausible, some that have tried this have found that they really don't have a ton of time to make good use of their rooms (though some do prefer this).  The most popular option will be to stay a couple of hours at Lake Dallas Middle School (at Exchange 24).  (As an important note, as of Late May, 2021, this is not finalized yet). We do “suggest a donation” of $5/person for the use of the facilities (including showers!), so that they can use this as a great fundraiser for their school. Besides these two options, some teams find parking lots and sleep in their vans.  Please do not attempt to sleep in any place in which there is ANY WAY POSSIBLE that a van could reach. 

Are there lights?

Yes, at the night time exchanges, there are either lights that are already there, or there are large traffic construction floodlights that light up the area well.

Will I be running alone at night?

Saturday night, the teams converge closer together.  So, while there is a chance that some of the 

faster teams could still be alone in the back, the vast majority of the teams will be amongst other teams.  So, it is unlikely that your night time runners will be all alone, not able to see anyone else.  In the early years, this was by far the most asked question, but it is not nearly asked as often now (and only by new teams).  We more often hear about how the nighttime legs are many runners' favorites! That being the case, if your team does find itself up ahead of the race, or in a gap in which there are no other teams, your team can employ a technique called "shadowing" your runner.  Shadowing your runner does NOT mean driving slowly right behind your runner.  Driving behind your runner is not permissible.  Also, in order to do so, either the runner would be running on the wrong side of the road, or the vehicle would be driving on the wrong side.  To shadow your runner, the driver of the active van would pull ahead of the runner about 1/4 mile, still able to see the runner's blinkies and flashlight (the runner is also able to see the van).  The van will pull completely off the road, and put on the hazard lights.  Depending on the conditions, the driver may want to keep two wheels on the pavement (getting stuck is sort of a bummer).  Then the van will watch as the runner goes by.  (As an aside, if teammates get out to cheer on the runner, it is VERY important that they, too wear reflective gear and lights, and they must use good judgement... not running across the road in front of other vehicles, or anything like that.  Other drivers are aware of the runners, but they often do not expect spectators, too.)  After the team's runner gets about a 1/4 mile ahead, the van will pull out, pass the runner, and repeat the process.  It only takes a few repetitions of this before your team reaches the next exchange.

Do I need reflective gear? When do I need to wear it?

Yes, not only will your team be required to show that you have reflective gear and lights to run with at night (flashlights and/or headlamps are required and blinkies are strongly recommended), but you'll simply want them to be very visible at night.  You should wear these items when starting a leg after 6-ish PM on Saturday (the sun will be down at 7PM) until the sun comes up Sunday morning.

Can I jam to my tunes while I am running?

No. Well, maybe...  Runners may not have earbuds in their ears or headphones covering their ears, but there are some phones with a loud enough speaker that can be used.  We've also seen other creative ways to hear tunes, BUT it is very important that this does not impede your hearing and general awareness. Teams often jam to music in the vans, so you could totally rock your tunes while riding.

How do you enforce the rules?

Quickly... Severely...  Seriously, though, the rules are there for your (and everyone's) safety.  Staff continuously monitors the course, and one thing we are particularly stringent about... if you are stopped and asked to do something (by relay staff), we need you to do it. Thanks!!  Also, a form is provided before the event for teams to notify event staff to help keep people safe.

Other

What kinds of awards are there?

Lone Star Relays gives LOTS of awards!  First we give superlative finisher medals!  Then, we have nicely made plaques / trophies for placing in the top 3 in your category, and other things!  The competitive awards are for Mens, Womens, and Mixed in the Open, Masters, Veteran, Corporate Open, Corporate Masters, and Corporate Veteran divisions.  Mixed teams require at least 3 females. Everyone on a Masters team must be over 40, and everyone on a Veteran team must be 50 or older.

When are awards distributed?

The awards are delivered after the event.

What will the weather be like?

It’s Fall in Texas, so you know the weather is totally predictable (lol)! Seriously, you should be prepared for both hot and cold, wet and dry, windy and still, gale-force winds, extreme drought, dust storms, freezing rain….  You get the picture.  HOWEVER... we have it on a good word that this year will be perfect! 

Average High: 74 degrees

Average Low: 58 degrees

How should I train for the RRR?

Training specifically for the RRR is easy and fun!  We suggest the following 7-week plan: First, arrange to be the van driver for an across-the-country road trip with a van-load of 10 - 15 year old area youths.  Then, stop periodically (ideally 3 or 4 times per day) to run a 5 miler. Don't sleep.  It takes some time to work into this regimen, so for the first week, only do this one day.  However, add another day each week, so that by the 7th week, you are doing this for all 7 days!  Immediately after finishing this, you'll be ready for the RRR.  Congratulations and you’re welcome!!!  Or, an alternative plan would be to train as though you would for a good Half-Marathon!

How do I sponsor the RRR?!

Why, we're glad you asked!!!  Email us at rd@RedRiverRelay.com to get moving on a great opportunity!

Any final words of advice?

You're going to have a GREAT time... Lone Star Relay runners ROCK!! Advice... let's see...Establish a couple of team "rules”...

1)  People try to run well at relays even when it is all for fun, so there is no need to be critique-ful of another runner's running.

2) There's absolutely no whining allowed.

3) Know your route and take directions with you.

4) Get the next runner to the next exchange before the current runner arrives there.

5) Always . Be . Safe .  ALWAYS…   Have fun!!!!