News Archives - Cascade Lakes Relay | Relay on Us™

Running the First Leg, a guest post by Sole Train's Greg L.


Each time I have run the Cascade Lakes Relay, I have wished I had something to record the voices in my head (no not ‘those’ voices) as they tried to describe the event, the landscape and the experience of a Relay through the exquisite world that is Southern Oregon. To put this all in context, this year, my fifth time participating in the Cascade Lakes Relay and I came back after the first one because of the sights, sounds and scenery that assaulted the senses from the first hours of leaving Diamond Lake to the final stretches as we rolled into Bend and the finish line. Along the way taking in snowy peaks and the amazingly blue lakes along the Cascade Lake highway. 2013 marked my fifth year of participating in this event, and my new red shirt was quite the surprise as I had not realized that I’d been at it that long.


So, trying to capture my thoughts and feelings and the privilege of running an event such as this, I went back to some of those voices. The ones that have not completely gone away, despite me sitting at my desk and the noise of the regular work day.


The van is loaded and Van 2 team members have it down to a fine art. No extraneous food or personal items that don’t factor into the event. Nothing that we have to dig through to get to what’s necessary. Cots and a collapsible chair, because you know there is no scrimping on comfort . The cooler is a sensible size and the baggage kept to a minimum. Zip lock and Eagle creek bags keep everything in handy grab sized packages. Even my Mountain Hardware […]

By |August 9th, 2013|News|Comments Off on Running the First Leg, a guest post by Sole Train's Greg L.

Cascade Lakes Relay 2013: The One Where The Relay Tries To Take Me Down

We would love to share your race recaps with our readers. If you have posted a write-up of the 2013 Cascade Lakes Relay and are willing to have it be a guest post, please shoot me an email at
* * *
by Teri Smith
When Scott and Carrie asked me to join the team last February, I felt pretty confident that I knew what I was in for. Years of running the Cascade Lakes Relay had made me tough, ready for the physical and mental challenges my favorite relay would surely throw my way. After all, I had conquered leg 2a and 2b in one fell swoop. I had submitted myself to the choking heat of leg 5. I was a veteran of sleepless nights and raging mosquitos. Surely being on the race staff could not be as rough as running itself, right?
You probably know where this is going.
Helping put on the CLR kicked my ass.
Darn hubris.

At a particularly low moment, after having lost wi-fi connection for what seemed to be the thousandth time, I wondered how Scott, Carrie and the rest of the crew could do this year after year. They must be superhuman, I concluded, made of something other than whatever constituted my internal makeup.
I wondered how I would be able to continue.
But as so often happens when you are starting out on that third leg, exhausted by too many miles of running, red vines, and lack of sleep, you find the strength to bring it home. I started to rally.
And I figured out how they keep doing this year after year.
The answer is you.


 The runners, walkers and volunteers who make up the Cascade Lakes Relay are some of the coolest people on the planet. […]

By |August 7th, 2013|News|Comments Off on Cascade Lakes Relay 2013: The One Where The Relay Tries To Take Me Down

Meet CLRG Staff Member Emily!

Look for Emily out on the costume contest leg or getting up to wacky hijinx along the course. Our Director of Fun & Games loves to have fun. 

What’s your job with the CLR/S2S?
Director of Fun and Games for CLR and S2S
What song are you embarrassed to admit you can’t help dancing to?
Glamorous – I have a station on Pandora based on that song that’s full of songs I’m embarrassed to be listening to but love dancing around my house to.
What food do you crave in the wee hours of the night during a relay?
Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches
What superhero do you sometimes wish you could be?
Wonder Woman
What’s your least favorite running or walking weather?
Windy – I’d rather walk or run in the rain.
What’s your favorite line from a movie?
“As you wish…” That’s more of a line from my favorite movie.
What’s your favorite spot on the CLR course?
The view of the mountains from exchange point 5.
What’s your favorite spot on the S2S course?
The finish line in Sandpoint. It’s gorgeous! A great spot to finish the relay.
What vegetable did you hate to eat as a kid?
I don’t think I hated vegetables when I was younger but I didn’t have brussels sprouts until I was 22 years old because my parents hated them when they were growing up.
What’s your favorite post race beverage?
Chocolate milk or beer
Why do you love working for the CLR and S2S?
There are so many reasons I love working for CLR and S2S. Here are just a few…I love working for CLR and S2S because it’s different from my other job as a 3rd grade teacher. I love the fact that I get to travel and see places I’ve never been before. I enjoy being […]

By |July 25th, 2013|News|Comments Off on Meet CLRG Staff Member Emily!

Top 7 Tips For Being An Awesome Relay Teammate

Relays are a special kind of running race. Sure, it helps if you can run fast, but honestly, the best relay teammates are not necessarily the ones with the fastest splits. Conquering a overnight relay requires a wide skillset, including the ability to endure sleep deprivation and van funk with a positive attitude. If you are new to the relay game, or if you’re just wanting to brush up your teammate skills, here’s our guide to being the most awesome relay teammate ever.



1. Be flexible.

Relays are tough, physically and emotionally, and you need to be able to adapt as you go.  If you are a person who likes to control a situation, try and let go as much of that need as possible during race weekend. Your team captain may need to change the plan on the fly, or your runner may get lost and you might not have time to prepare for your leg the way you’d like. Do your best to roll with the punches, and your teammates will appreciate you for it.


2. Show your enthusiasm.

Cheer loudly for your teammates, rattle the cowbell, plan funny photo opportunities. The more fun you are having, the more fun your teammates are probably having. Don’t be afraid to be silly or childish – that’s kind of what this relay thing is all about.


3. Be prepared.

Nothing is more frustrating than a teammate who needs some of your bandaids…and sunscreen…and gatorade…and headphones…well, you get the picture. Use a packing list and make sure you bring everything you need for the weekend. Better yet, be generous with your stuff when your teammates don’t have something they need, and then you’ll be the hero.

There is a caution with this suggestion […]

By |July 23rd, 2013|News|Comments Off on Top 7 Tips For Being An Awesome Relay Teammate

Team Captain Webinar Recording

Slowly but surely we are figuring out the technologies for putting on these meetings. Tonight, we made a recording, but after opening up the file, I realized that it is just an audio recording. Regardless, there is a lot of good information in the hour long call, and we encourage you to give it a listen.

The file is located here:

Once the file downloads, doubleclick on it to listen in.

If you have any questions about the relay, please do not hesitate to email me at

By |July 21st, 2013|News|Comments Off on Team Captain Webinar Recording

Why All The Safety Gear?



This is what a runner looks like at 150 feet in the headlights when he’s not wearing any safety gear.


Shocking, isn’t it? You might get lucky and catch a reflection off of his water bottle or socks if you’re lucky. It’s pretty clear why it’s so important that you wear reflective gear when you’re out running after dark.


But reflective gear alone still can leave you fairly invisible, as the photo below shows.



This is why we require you to use reflective vests and show them to us at check-in. Running at night without anything to show the cars where you are is quite dangerous. And remember too – when you are out of the van, even if you aren’t running – you are still invisible to cars if you don’t have a vest on. If you’re going to on the road to support your runner, make sure you’ve got good reflective gear on. FootZone in Bend and Fit Right NW in Portland both carry a variety of reflective products that you can use.

We are also requiring that each team carry four blinking red lights this year (like these ones) – one to wear on front, and one to wear on back. These lights are especially helpful on the gravel legs (#13 – 17), which tend to get quite dusty as the vans drive by. The red light will cut through the haze and help you be seen. All safety gear should be worn between dusk and dawn.



By |July 16th, 2013|News|Comments Off on Why All The Safety Gear?

Meet Chief H2O


We are very lucky to have Bob Dolan, a member of the well known Tomahops team, volunteering for us this year as Chief H2O and leader of the Water Ambassador team. Bob will be roving the course, looking for folks in need of a cool glass of water or an “attitude adjustment” – a quick spray down in the heat. And expect to hear some water themed songs blasting from his car…maybe a little “Gimme Some Water” from Eddie Money?


Here’s a little more about Bob:


Some fun facts about me:
I have been rock climbing 23 years — since I was 11 years old.
I have two broken ankles.
I have arthritis in 8 of my 10 fingers
I ran track and cross-country back in high school
I “ran” the Marine Corps Marathon 6 times while living in DC — only once “officially”
I ran 42 miles of the CLR back in 2012 — including an abysmal and stiflingly hot time trial up the back of Bachelor
I was an EMT in the District of Columbia back in 2002 – 2004
I have a 10 year old golden retriever named Mel
I currently live in Portland Oregon, but I have lived in NY state, North Carolina, Washington DC, and South Carolina as well



What song are you embarrassed to admit you can’t help dancing to?
Under Pressure Bowie and Queen


What food do you crave in the wee hours of the night during a relay?
PB and J. Oh, and coffee.


What superhero do you sometimes wish you could be?
Aquaman of course!


What’s your least favorite running or walking weather?
Early morning sunrises in the fall.


What’s your favorite spot on the CLR course?
THE HILL (aka Leg 19)


What’s your favorite post race beverage?


Why do you love volunteering for the CLR?
The camaraderie of your […]

By |July 15th, 2013|News|Comments Off on Meet Chief H2O

Looking for a Ride? Have a Ride to Share?

In an effort to connect runners and walkers with other runners and walkers looking for rides to the start line or even just over the Bend, we’ve started a carpool finder form. Just fill out the form with what kind of ride you are looking for or what kind of ride you can offer, or just check the current list to see if you can find a potential match. The current list can be viewed here:



By |July 8th, 2013|News|Comments Off on Looking for a Ride? Have a Ride to Share?

Apply To Be An Official CLR Water Ambassador Team


We’re excited to announce that EartH2O has agreed to sponsor this year’s Water Ambassador Program, which is great news for runners and walkers alike.


It is no secret that the Cascade Lakes Relay is a hot course, with sweltering legs that often leave runners battling the heat and running low on water. The CLR Water Ambassador Program is designed to help teams take care of each other throughout the race. Select teams are given extra cases of water bottles to hand out along the way, any time they see a runner who looks to need a little extra aid. The Ambassador teams are also given clean pesticide sprayers filled with water to mist runners and walkers who need to be cooled off. We should all plan to take care of our teammates, but this is one more way to make sure that everyone stays safe out on the course.


This year we are asking for teams to apply to be Official Water Ambassadors. Traditionally Scott and Carrie have asked teams to fill this role, but we thought that it would be fun to open it up to any team with an interest in the program. Your team should be one that loves to talk to the other teams and to check on everyone who passes by. We’re looking for a variety of paces and start times so that we can cover as much as the course as possible. If your team is interested, please fill out this brief application.


We would also like to welcome on board Chief H2O, Bob Dolan of Tomahops fame. He’ll be the guy at the helm of this program, helping connect teams with their water and patrolling the course on the lookout for […]

By |July 2nd, 2013|News|Comments Off on Apply To Be An Official CLR Water Ambassador Team

Meet Course Official Kate

It takes quite a crew to put on our relays. Meet Kate, one of our hardworking crew members who will be out on our courses come August!


What’s your job with the CLR/S2S?
Technically I suppose I’m a race official… but last year that ranged from stuffing finisher t-shirt bags to overseeing exchange points, to working the finish line. This will be my first year at S2S, so I’m not sure what I’ll be doing up there, yet!

What song are you embarrassed to admit you can’t help dancing to?
Michael Jackson’s ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’ – It puts a little giddyup in your step.

What food do you crave in the wee hours of the night during a relay?
Anything with sugar. I love sugar.

What superhero do you sometimes wish you could be?
The Invisible Woman (Sue Storm from Fantastic Four) The things you could do if you were invisible!

What’s your least favorite running or walking weather?
Snow. Brrr! I’d rather just stay on the couch and drink coffee.

What’s your favorite line from a movie?
Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once and a while, you could miss it. – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

What’s your favorite spot on the CLR course?
Any place along the lakes. I love Central Oregon’s lakes!

What’s your favorite spot on the S2S course?
This is my first year doing S2S, so I’ll tell you next year.

If you could have been in the Olympics in any sport, what sport would it have been?
The luge. I’ve always wanted to try the luge!

Who’s your favorite funny television character?
Sheldon Cooper – The Big Bang Theory. That kid is ridiculous.

What vegetable did you hate to eat as a kid?
Brussel Sprouts, but I love them now!

What’s your favorite post […]

By |June 19th, 2013|News|Comments Off on Meet Course Official Kate