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What is the Colorado Relay?

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  • Written By: Anna T.
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 09 December 2016
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The Colorado Relay is a yearly race for runners of all skill levels that takes place in the US state of Colorado. The length of the race is roughly 174 miles (280 kilometers), and runners typically start in the city of Georgetown and cross the finish line in Carbondale. This relay takes a full 24 hours for most runners to complete. Instead of racing individually, the runners are divided up into teams of anywhere from five to 12 people. Each team member is generally responsible for running three legs of the race.

Some teams in the Colorado Relay may be made up of elite runners. These teams are referred to as "Ultra" and do not typically consist of more than five people, with each person normally covering about 35 miles of the race. Some Ultra teams are also classified as "Freestyle Ultra" teams. Runners who sign up for these teams are allowed to divide up the legs of the race however they choose, with no set number of miles for each person to run.

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The Colorado Relay is often considered a challenge for many runners, including those who have a professional running background. Runners travel through the Rocky Mountains, up and down steep inclines. Some of these inclines reach extremely high altitudes that may exceed 12,000 feet (3,658 meters). Runners are allowed one or two vehicles per team for the purpose of carrying the runners to and from exchange points. Emergencies relating to weather and injury are always a possibility, and for this reason teams are required to carry medical kits.

To participate in the Colorado Relay, a person must be at least 16 years of age. People younger than 16 who wish to participate are generally required to get approval from race management and usually must have an adult with them throughout their assigned legs of the race. The cost of registration for participation in the Colorado Relay may vary from year to year, with rates generally lower for early registrants and higher for people who sign up at the last minute.

There are prizes and perks for participants of the relay as well. Throughout the race, time trails and other competitions may be held with a reward for the winner. People who make it all the way through the race are usually rewarded with a large breakfast in the morning after they cross the finish line. Other bonuses might include T-shirts with the Colorado Relay logo and other related apparel, but these extras typically vary each year.

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