Pre-Relay Checklist

This is an extreme running event. The course is challenging. Runners should expect to encounter loose gravel, traffic, many types of weather and darkness. Please prepare mentally and physically for this strenuous yet rewarding experience. Here are some instructions and tips to get you ready for the big weekend!

Organize/Join a Team

  • Teams will consist of up to 12 people
  • Each team will have a captain who will be the main contact. Your captain must be the first person to register on and set up the team. Then others may join the fun! 13WhipperSnappers
  • Participants must be at least 14 years old. Anyone under 18 years old will need a waiver signed by parent or legal guardian.
  • We will calculate your team’s overall pace using the times reported by runners during registration on Be sure all runners submit a realistic pace per mile, not their personal best.

    TIP: Average team pace cannot be slower than about 10-10.5 minutes/mile as your team will not finish within the 60-hour time limit. Any level runner may participate as long as team pace stays around 10-10.5 minutes/mile.

  • Runners will rotate through the relay as determined by the team. Relay Iowa does not dictate order of runners nor distance. It is all up to you!
  • Once registered, be sure to stay up-to-date by reading all email communications from Relay Iowa, staying in touch with your captain and following us on social media like Facebook.
  • No fundraising is required to participate, but we encourage you to invite people to support you and your team by donating to Relay Iowa!
  • Contact us if you are looking to join a team or if your team is looking for additional runners. No guarantees, but sometimes we can connect teams needing runners and runners needing teams.

Captain a Team

  • As captain, you must be the first team member to register. During the registration process you will create your team.
  • Once you are registered, you can recruit family, friends, co-workers and neighbors to join you on this adventure!
  • Captains will receive regular communication from Relay Iowa and should plan to communicate often with their team members.
  • Become familiar with the content on this website.
  • Click here for some “Captaining” advice from one of our most seasoned veteran captains.
  • Register today to get your team started!

Train to RunDSC_0460

  • Proper training is essential for each person’s success. Team members can encourage and support each other in training for this event by setting team training goals and training together when possible. Be sure to add some training for night running and running on rough surfaces.
  • You can find a plethora of training ideas and programs online. There are also apps you can download to your phone to guide you to your goals.
  • If you have any health concerns, please consult a doctor before attempting this event.

Coordinate Vehicles

Each team is required to bring vehicles to transport their team. Vans are strongly recommended for ease of maneuvering and comfort. Most teams opt for multiple vehicles so one group is free to rest, relax and recover while teammates in another vehicle are completing their legs of the relay. In some cases teams bring along non-running support people to help drive the vehicles. This is a fun way to include people who might not otherwise participate and spread out the driving responsibilities. Non-running support people do not need to register for the event.IMG_0115v2

Here is an example of how your vehicles can work together (but it is completely up to you!): At the starting point, runner 1 from van 1 will begin running. Van 1 will begin driving along the route, stopping at the predetermined distance to wait for runner 1. When runner 1 reaches the van, he or she will pass the GPS (each team will have a GPS device) to runner 2 who will then begin running. Runner 1 enters the van and they continue on the course to the desired end point for runner 2. This continues until all participants from van 1 have run and then the relay shifts to the participants in van 2. This rotation continues across the state.

The runners riding in the “resting” van can relax, go to a nearby town to eat and get supplies, or find a safe place to grab a nap.

TIP: Plan to wait for the runner at turns or any place the route might be confusing. It is your responsibility to make sure your runner stays on course. Remember, when pulling off to the side of the road, vehicles must pull completely off the road and not impede traffic. Law enforcement officials can ticket you for blocking the roadway.

What to Bring

Plan ahead as there may be times, such as between towns and in the middle of the night, when no resources will be available. Meet as a team prior to the event to discuss what items everyone will bring.

Supply List Ideas:

  • MANDATORY: Two reflective vests per team. One must be worn by runner dusk to dawn, but we encourage runners to wear one at all times.
  • MANDATORY: Two headlamps and two LED tail lights per team. One of each must be worn by runner dusk to dawn.
  • Food – Three meals are provided to runners over the weekend. You are responsible for all other food.
  • Water/Gatorade
  • Cooler
  • Cell phones and chargers
  • First Aid Kit including ice pack, blister treatment, bandages, pain relief
  • Cash & credit card
  • Clothes for layering. Be prepared for hot and cold weather.
  • Rain gear
  • Reflective tape/gear-anything to make you visible to drivers
  • Flashlights and fresh batteries
  • Pepper spray
  • Extra bag for dirty clothes
  • Towels
  • Toiletries
  • Camping supplies
  • BE SURE ALL TEAM MEMBERS AND DRIVERS HAVE READ THROUGH THE ENTIRE SURVIVAL GUIDE! We will provide your team two copies at check-in. Please print any additional copies needed so every vehicle has a copy.

Where to Stay in Sioux City

Each year we work with local hotels to set aside blocks of rooms available to you at a discounted rate.