What year did Slithy Toves first run in Relay Iowa? Has the name always been the same?

We started running in 2014. The name was always the Slithy Toves.

What has been your favorite memory as a team?

Our second year we had 9 people, but not all at the same time. One runner didn’t join until Friday night because of work, and another had to take off Saturday to be a bridesmaid in Kansas City. On Saturday afternoon part of our team was rejoining the route after a few hours’ rest and we were excited for our progress near Hudson. But as we crested the hill, we saw our runner — not really running at that point. His knee was hurt and was done for the event. We swapped out and notified the others. Our rotation was now down 2 runners but everybody else was desperately tired. The ones that had left earlier for some sleep and food agreed to come back early and the ones still in agreed to stay for a few more cycles. But the start of the gravel Critter Run was as far as they could go. For a few hours the team was pretty much just Jake and me, swapping out to each other. Hanna the bridesmaid hauled straight back after the wedding in KC to rejoin the route in the early AM, and as some runners met their limit, others found new ones. We made it across the line in good time Sunday; and while not all of us were still running, we were all beaming.

What advice would you give to first-year teams?

Be flexible. This is a strange and strenuous event and you have to help each other out. While you definitely need to plan, it is likely that plan will break at some point, and so too your expectation for how many miles you put in, and when. Relax. See what can be done. Do it. Smile.

How do you show your team spirit?

We paint our cars and count our miles on the windows. We yell and cheer, and try our best to support each other how we can.

Where are you all from? How did you come together as a team?

We are from all over Iowa, and the first few years we had a member from NYC. We are family, friends, co-workers, and friends/family of those. One of our members joined in the second year as someone searching for a team and has stayed on since.

Why do you run year after year?

It’s fun, challenging, and we build such great rapport with our teammates. We share memories that last, and we all now gaze at Iowa maps thinking “ah, I remember running through there at 2 AM…Good times.”