Here’s why the relay is one of the best ways to run the Novant Health Charlotte Marathon

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Presented by Novant Health Charlotte Marathon

Picture this.

It’s the morning of November 11, 2017. The Queen City is buzzing, filled with thousands of runners.

The streets are lined with cheering spectators. Your sneakers are laced tight and adrenaline is pumping through your body.

You are about to cross the finish line to the Novant Health Charlotte Marathon.

I know what you’re thinking:

There’s no way I can run 26.2 miles.

That’s where the relay comes in.

I didn’t know much about the relay till I got the full scoop from marathon Ambassador, Natalia Flores.

Natalia and her relay teammate showing off their medals after the 2016 marathon.

Natalia participated in the relay for the first time last year and she liked it so much that she’s running it again this year. How would she describe it? “F-U-N.” I’ll be honest, I was skeptical.

Here’s the run down:

It’s split into 5 legs.

That’s right, the full marathon is broken down into little chunks ranging from 4-6 miles. That means you aren’t running 26.2 miles. Whew. You can check the map ahead of time to look at the different legs. Make sure you know which team member is running which leg.

Pro tip: Natalia recommends putting your faster relay members in the earlier legs so you don’t fall behind the required race pace.

You have a team.

That’s right. You get to do this whole thing with 4 of your friends. Sure, the individual satisfaction of running a full marathon is cool and all but…you get to do the whole thing with your besties and actually be able to walk afterwards. I’m in. And FYI: All teammates get a finisher medal. #swag

Natalia and her 2016 relay team.

You can wear matching outfits.

If you’re going to be a team, you obviously need to look like a team. Natalia says her team wore matching outfits last year and planning on doing it again this year. “It helps to easily identify your team member at the exchange points and makes the photos even better.”

You can train together.

Even though you won’t be running the full marathon, it’s still a good idea to train ahead of the race and training with other people helps keep you accountable. 

You’ll need a driver.

Running the relay takes a little bit of coordination and you’ll need someone who can take each team member to their respective exchange spots (and pick them up after their leg is finished). Natalia recommends stocking up the car with snacks, drinks and sweaters, in case it’s chilly. Last year, her team even decorated their car.

You’re going to have a lot of fun.

Natalia says having fun is the most important part of the relay. Since you aren’t running the entire race, you can relax and really enjoy the experience. The whole atmosphere of the race is exciting and at the end you can enjoy a beer together as a team and show off all your Novant Health Charlotte Marathon relay swag.

Sign up before May 30 and the entry fee is only $180 for the whole team. That’s only $36/per team member.

Register for the relay here. Oh, and just to encourage one lucky team to hit the ground running, we’re giving away one VIP relay experience. Enter to win here

(This content was co-created with Novant Health Charlotte Marathon.)

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