Your team of six people will take turns running relay legs. The active runner will wear a wrist strap, then pass it to the next runner on the team, and so on. PALM100 race rules allow each team to decide who runs in what order AND how many legs each person will run AND the length of each leg. A typical race plan might have each team member running a total of three legs, each of 5-6 miles. After each racer has taken a turn, the cycle starts again until all three legs have been completed. However, a team may decide to run much shorter distances, perhaps 2-3 mile legs as an example, with the total number of turns being higher. Each team member does NOT have to run the same distance or number of times as the rest of the team, and changes are allowed to be made during the race, itself. This flexibility for each team to create its own strategy, and to adjust along the way if it chooses, is part of the fun and challenge to optimize the team's performance while responding to changing conditions as they arise. It also allows weaker runners to be part of the race, and the fun, of this team sports adventure.
The lead runner starts the race--to the cheers of teammates, of course! Then the team drives ahead to meet the active runner at the hand-off spot where a second runner takes over. A productive tactic is for the team vehicle to stop at roughly the half-way point of each leg to yell encouragement as the active runner goes by, and to provide any support, such as drink replacement, that the active runner might want. This leap-frog process continues throughout the entire race. At the end of each leg, the retiring racer gets into the van to recover until his/her next turn.
At the mandatory race check-in points along the route, the active runner must be identified and checked-in by the PALM100 official, but otherwise the runner is not required to stop and shouldn't lose time. At the finish, most teams will run the last few hundred yards together, with the active runner slightly ahead when crossing the finish line. And then, it's celebration time!!
Nourishing your body:
Adequate hydration and nutrition intake during the race, and in preparation for it, are vital to a strong effort. This includes replenishing salts and minerals lost through sweat by taking an electrolyte product like Endurolytes, Salt Stick, Nuun or a similar product designed for this purpose. Most runners know to hydrate during a race, but caloric intake is equally important in a race that extends over long hours. There is plenty of published literature on the subject that will provide solid advice based upon your weight, age, sex and event conditions. As a general guideline, most people should aim for 200-300 calories per hour. Be sure not to experiment with new foods or drinks on the course. Practice using the foods, drinks and supplements you will use during the event so you know what works and what doesn't. Creating digestive issues for yourself in the middle of a 100-mile relay is not a good idea!
Care of your feet:
Proper care of the feet includes selection of shoes and socks and such decisions as whether or not you will tape your feet to minimize blisters. Highly recommended for your consideration is the book, "FIXING YOUR FEET", by John Vonhof. There is no single "best practice" recommended here, but there are many good options and advice from which to choose. Proper taping of feet and toes is covered, including specific tapes and adhesives that work. Advice is given related to socks, moisture, keeping out grit and other factors that can cause, or help prevent, blisters. How to treat blisters, should you develop them, is detailed so that you can fix the problem and get back on the road. This book is a great resource for distance runners. Buy it at your favorite running store or online through ZombieRunner.com.
Note: Here is one example, a regimen that has worked for Race Director Bob Becker: trim toenails very short. Use an emory board to smooth nail ends, leaving no rough edges. Completely cover toes, bottoms and sides of feet and heels with a coating of Sportslick, Hydropel or similar lubricant made for this purpose. Bob wears Injinji toe socks. These fit like a pair of gloves for the feet. The socks have individual seamless sleeves for each toe, so that toes are not rubbing against each other. Bob generally changes shoes during a race, often to a larger size to allow for feet swelling during the race. He frequently changes to clean socks, recoating the feet with lubricant each time.
Running at night:
The team should anticipate a realistic finishing time in order to estimate the number of hours after dark, if any, they will be running. Running at night for some may be uncomfortable without a pacer. If so, the team should plan how it will provide that support. Relay teams are self-contained, so would not typically have extra crew to provide non-racer pacing support. After sundown, pacers are allowed, but racers and pacers must wear reflective material facing in all four directions, as well as blinking LED lights facing front and rear.
All team members should stay hydrated, fed, rested and comfortable during non-running periods. The crew vehicle should be organized for ease of access to drinks, food, ice and personal items, and allow room for runners to relax and rest.
Selecting a team:
Relay teams will be together in close quarters for a dozen hours or more. Compatibility counts, as does a sense of humor, enthusiasm and support for the rest of the gang. Very often a core group will bring "outside" friends to complete the team. New faces may not only be a good source of racing talent--and new jokes--but the beginning of fine new friendships. Well before race day, meeting in person (or via conference call) a few times will allow people on the team to get to know each other, help to set proper expectations, decide on responsibilities including vehicle drivers, hotel arrangements, renting a vehicle, if necessary, buying pooled items like water, ice, etc., running leg assignments and more.
Coaching & Training Programs:
Improve your “game”! Excellent running training and relay race coaching is available through PALM100 preferred coaches Bill Wenner of Team Hendryx, Mike Scherwitz of BodyDrive and Marcella Todd of Friends in Training. Coaching is available specifically for PALM100, our sister race, KEYS100, and as generic training. Contact information and a brief description of their respective coaching approaches appear below.
DO MORE, DO IT BETTER... TEAM HENDRYX
Team Hendryx provides group and individual endurance training to athletes of all ages and all levels.
Based in Orlando, Florida, Team Hendryx's athlete coaches provide experience, support, and motivation to help athletes reach peak performance. The program services provide individual performance assessments, group endurance sessions, strength training, and online coaching.Team Hendryx has coaching and racing experience in individual and relay ultra distance events.
Athletes from Team Hendryx have won multiple titles in running and triathlon relays over the past several years. Team Hendryx can help your team reach it goals of finishing or competing for placement.
Contact Bill Wenner
BodyDrive is a team of highly qualified trainers, based in Fort Lauderdale. We accommodate our clients in every way possible, including training at the client’s home. We work with the widest range of people in terms of age and ability, tailoring training plans accordingly. Group and individual training and coaching are available. We use a wide variety of fitness tools to make sure each client is getting exactly what he or she needs to be successful at maximizing running, triathlon and other athletic skills, maintaining health and fitness levels at their peak or getting back into shape!
Contact Michael Scherwitz
Friends In Training (FIT) is a Six-month marathon and half marathon training program based in Fort Lauderdale. Meets on Saturday mornings at George English park for long training runs. FIT offers training groups for all ability levels from walkers to Boston Marathon qualifiers. FIT has new programs starting at various times throughout the year. Check our Sign Up page for the dates of upcoming sign up sessions. For more information please contact
Check out websites, articles and books written about other relay races. These include Hood to Coast and Wild West Relay.