On the eve of the Blue Ridge Relay (BRR), the excitement is palpable amongst the pax. Months of training culminates with F3 brothers in teams of 12 piling in two vans to take on 200 miles through the mountains of North Carolina. Are you downtrodden that you missed the sign up for the BRR? Are you still drying out your shoes from running the Palmetto 200 (P200) Relay earlier this year? Have you never run a relay, but think any chance to experience a #CSAUP sounds like a must? Well, you are in luck F3 brothers! The P200 recently opened for registration and the F3 Nation is gearing up for another chance to perfect those three Fs – Fitness, Fellowship, and Faith. The P200 will be Friday March 20 to Saturday March 21.
So, what is the P200? Basically, it is the BRR experience substituting flat and fast low country for mountain goat hardness. I did this race earlier this year and enjoyed the experience – minus the torrential downpour in the middle of the night. Hey, even that made for some good stories! The P200 begins just outside Columbia, winds along back roads both paved and unpaved north of I-26, through Santee State Park and Francis Marion National Forest to Mt. Pleasant, over the Ravenel Bridge, ending in the Charleston area. This is a true tour of the South Carolina Low Country.
For those of you unfamiliar with the relay experience, the race is divided into 36 separate legs which cover the 200 miles. The first leg begins outside of Columbia and the last leg outside Charleston heading to James Island. Once the race starts teams run continuously throughout the night. If you’ve never done a relay of this sort before, think a road race meets a camping trip. The legs vary in length from about 2 to 10 miles at the longest. Most legs average around 5 miles. Nine-man or 12-man teams are typical; however, some courageous souls do 4 or 6-man teams. Maybe we’ll have some pax take on that challenge this year – last year was all 12-man and 9-man teams Runners on 12-man teams will run three legs of varying distances and will run differing total miles. Similarly, 9-man teams will run the same legs but each will run 4 legs instead of 3. To say these relays are an experience is an understatement. Unlike the BRR, the P200 flat course and more variance in the total miles per runner lends itself to include a wider range of runner. In the P200, there is room for an inexperienced runner who will only have to run a handful of flat miles during the race while still providing longer distance totals to challenge an experienced runner on the same team. The overall experience and camaraderie is priceless.
Are you in? Don’t be left out of this event! There is room for all runners and even non-runners who are committed to train from now to March. Current F3 running groups and boot camps offer perfect training for such an event. F3 Columbia is already in the process of forming a team for the P200. We can form multiple teams based on speed and experience. Teams register and must pay the approximate $950 registration fee ($79 per runner on a 12 person team). Other expenses could include splitting van rentals or gas, but this is very affordable once split nine or twelve ways.
I am enthused to Q this event and help with getting teams set up with captains. Please comment below indicating your interest in participating and/or forming a team (or email me at [email protected]).