How many times have you run relay Iowa?

I have run Relay Iowa 3 times.

What team(s) have you run with?

I have been the team captain of the Rum Runners for 3 years.

What keeps you coming back?

We keep coming back because honestly we have so much fun participating in an event that is for such a great cause! It sounds crazy to most people that running 339 miles across the state for 2 plus days would be “fun”, but the sense of camaraderie amongst the teams and the support the teams receive from each other and the towns we run through is incredible. Our team is made up of such a wide variety of ages and ability levels, and we all contribute and support each other and have a blast doing it. The first time my teenage daughters participated, they came away exclaiming that it was “the best weekend of their life”!  This has become a family event for our team.  My husband and 2 daughters run it, along with 4 of our siblings and several nieces/nephews.  We have also had close friends join us, as long as they don’t mind us hollering “Run like a Hoey!” at them all weekend. 

What is your best advice for people new to the event?

The first advice that comes to mind is to find some teenagers for your team that have unlimited energy and don’t need much sleep! Haha!  I bought 15 ft. auxiliary cords for the vans and the teenagers kept us going from the back with their music.  But seriously, my best advice would be to just have fun with it. Laugh and find joy in all of the crazy moments you will experience throughout the weekend. And of course, lots of chocolate milk!

What is your favorite memory from any Relay Iowa?

Last year we stopped at a campground for a couple hours of sleep Friday night. I was in a deep sleep face down on my picnic table when the other van texted and said they were running ahead of schedule.  I jumped up to gather all of our runners and realized I didn’t know where everyone landed when we stopped. I ended up having to creep around the campground with the flashlight on my phone shining it on each picnic table trying to find our runners.  I also found one sleeping amongst all of the gear and coolers in the back of our van.  Needless to say, we made it to the handoff with only a few seconds to spare!

What is your favorite food establishment, shower location or sleeping area on or near the route?

The pancake breakfast in Ellsworth is always my favorite stop!

Do you have a favorite RI photo you’d be willing to share? Why is it your favorite? 

These photos always remind me of the crazy shenanigans and laughter we share as a family and team.