Joe’s Top 12: My favorite relay team names

A great team name (and logo) that never was (the relay was cancelled before it began).

In case you haven’t heard, it’s Hood to Coast Relay week! As someone who loves creativity and wordplay, I’ve always been a fan of the wide variety of relay team names. My favorite names combine puns, humor, and running references. The best are original and inventive, and sometimes even take a leap to refer to past events or other relays. Coming up with a team name that’s novel and makes people chuckle is a challenge, so kudos to those creative minds who thought of the following monickers, my personal, ever-changing, totally subjective, and somewhat hastily assembled Top 12:

12. Tektronics Megahurts

One of the best corporate names, and a nice play on words that evokes the pain inherent in a long relay.

11. No Walking ‘Til The Van Passes

This name captures two core aspects of relays: The intense effort that every runner exerts for their teammates; and the flip side, a thought that goes through every runner’s mind at some point during each leg but one that they’re not likely to admit having: “I wish I could stop right now, eat some Gummi Bears, and settle down for a nap!”

10. Scrambled Legs And Achin

A solid pun that sums up the relay experience in a nutshell.

Beavis and Butt-head’s favorite team name.

9. N.A.D.S.

Who doesn’t love a good acronym, especially one with a Beavis and Butt-head payoff? This one stands for North American Distance Sprinters. Bonus: Anyone cheering for them will find themselves yelling “Go Nads!” Hehheh-hehhehheh.

8. Endorphiends

Another great pun, this one drawing on the common “addiction” to the runner’s high.

7. Toenails Are For Sissies

Any runner can proudly identify with this funny and defiant team name.

6. Those Aren’t Pillows!

I’m not sure what they really are, but the uncertainty and wild speculation this name evokes is what makes it so great.

5. Team Chopped Liver*

The background: Some members of a running club felt snubbed when they weren’t asked to be on the club’s “A team” and get to run with the “cool kids” and thought to themselves “What are we, chopped liver?!” So they formed their own team, and made the Team Name Hall of Fame in the process.

4. The Team Formerly Known As Class Act*

The set-up: There once was a team named “Class Act”, then they returned as “Class Act Is Back”. One of their vans was reprimanded by a Sheriff’s deputy for shooting Super Soakers out the window on the highway. Their “classy” reputation thus sullied, the next year they adopted the Prince-like name listed above.

3. Killer Bs

Like Team Chopped Liver, this name arose from a snub. Originally Nike’s “JV” squad, this “B team” ran with a chip on their shoulder, and soon took over from the big boys, starting their own dynasty as Hood To Coast champs. One of the all-time classic team names!

2. Where’s The Beach?*

What makes this name so great is that it refers to two relays, and makes an excellent joke in the process. It’s a land-locked Cascade Lakes Relay team looking futilely for the iconic view at the finish of Hood To Coast. Clever, self-deprecating, and just plain awesome!

1. 24-Foot Monster*

This name remains my favorite ever since I ran with them in the mid-1990s. A nice play on words, not too cute, with a dash of brio and braggadocio. Also providing a great opportunity for a cool logo, based either on team podiatry or a tall beast (or a combination of both).

Bonus name: Dazed And Enthused*

Does a name count if the team never actually ran a relay? This great name (and logo by yours truly!) never saw the light of day (or flashlight of night), because the relay we were going to run was cancelled before it began. Still, this is one of my favorite names, evoking the peculiar blend of delirium and excitement familiar to all relay participants!

*Disclaimer: Teams with an asterisk are ones I’ve been a member of, so I may be a bit biased.

As with any Top 12 list, these may change tomorrow, and I’m sure I’ll be slapping my forehead and saying “D’oh” as other forgotten names pop into my head. So please help me out and post your own favorites. I’d love to add to the list.

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