How It Works


The Cascade Lakes Relay Relay is a 216.6 mile overnight relay in the style of Hood to Coast. Teams of 12 (or even 6 or 8) runners take turns running “legs” – shorter segments of 3 to 9 miles that link together at exchange points. A total of 36 (well, 37 if you want to get technical) legs comprise the Cascade Lakes Relay, so for a team of 12, that means you will run three times. Total mileage for each runner averages around 18 miles. Ultra teams, or those with less than 12 members, will run anywhere from 4 to 6 legs. Most teams take about 32 hours to complete the 216.6 miles, which means that teams run through the night. Running in the dark often proves to be a new relay runner’s favorite experience.

We also offer a walk relay, which is a 132 mile version of the race that begins at Leg #13 in Silver Lake. Teams of 8-12 walkers work together to complete 24 legs (Legs #13 – 36 of the race). They walk through the night as well. Teams of 12 will each complete 2 legs for a total mileage of approximately 11 miles each (teams of 8 will each complete 3 legs). Walk teams take about 30 hours to complete the 132 miles.

Teams of 12 split into two “vans” (Suburbans and minivans work great too) to run the race. While Van #1 runs their first set of legs (#1 – #6), Van #2 will often find a place to eat, do some sightseeing or rest up at the major exchange point where they will start running. After Van #1 finishes their legs, Van #2 runs their first set of legs (#7-12), and Van #1 now gets to eat, sight-see or rest up. This run/rest switch-off continues throughout the race.

Teams are self-supporting, which means they carry their own water and food during the race. We do not have aid stations and water stops every mile, as you can imagine how difficult it would be to coordinate that feat across 216 miles! We do provide aid in critical areas that teams may not be able to reach their runner or walker; these are noted in the race guide.

Perhaps the most unique aspect of a relay like the Cascade Lakes Relay is the team aspect of running an event like this provides. Running is often a solitary sport, but in a relay, it’s all about your team. Our teams get in to the spirit by creating elaborate team names, wearing matching outfits, participating in contests, having spontaneous dance parties, cheering on fellow runners, and decorating their vans. The Cascade Lakes Relay is a race, a celebration, and a vacation all wrapped up in one weekend of running. We invite you to discover what relays are all about, and why teams return year after year to run together!