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Race Preview: 2017 Cascade Lakes Relay (Bend, OR)

I have a running shirt that says “Enjoy The Journey” and I’ve always felt relay races perfectly capture this exact sentiment. Relays have become all the rage and with the crowds and the difficulty getting into that “other” relay at the end of August, it’s nice to have options. Maybe this is the year you should consider trying out the Cascade Lakes Relay in Bend on August 4th and 5th.

The Cascade Lakes Relay is a challenging 216.6 mile race split between 12 runners (or less depending on what your team is up for,) in two vehicles (vans, minivans, Suburbans, etc) over the course of 2 days. Each leg of the race is anywhere from 3 to 9 miles and there are 36 legs in all, with each of the 12 runners running 3 legs, or about 18 miles each. Ultra teams, which are compromised of less than 12 runners, will offer teams a bigger challenge, as everyone will run anywhere from 4 to 6 legs. The race begins at Diamond Lake Resort and travels all through the beautiful Oregon Outback and country before looping back to the Cascade Lakes Highway and around gorgeous Mt Bachelor and into Bend. The website claims you’ll see “more cows than semi-trucks and smell pine trees instead of exhaust” so saddle up for an incredibly scenic adventure that will likely take around 32 hours to complete.

If running the relay isn’t your thing, there is also the option of a walk relay, which begins at leg #13 of the course, beginning in Silver Lake. This walk relay is 132 miles long and teams of 8-12 walkers will complete 24 legs to the finish. Everyone on the walking teams of 12 will complete 2 legs of the race for a total mileage of about 11 miles each and teams of 8 will complete 3 legs each. The walking relay should take approximately 30 hours and like the running relay, all participants should plan to walk through the night.

Because options, as mentioned, are always a good thing, you could also participate in CLR24. CLR24 consists of teams of 7-12 runners who start from Silver Lake at exchange #12 and run the final 24 legs of the CLR course only. A team of 12 means each team member would run 2 legs each, and an 8 person team consists of 3 legs each. These teams will start Friday August 4th in the afternoon and are projected to finish between 9:00AM and 1:00PM on Saturday August 5th. CLR24 teams get all the same perks that that the full relay runners do, so this is a great option for you if you aren’t sure if you’re ready for the “full” version yet.

As with most relays, teams are “self-supporting,” so runners are responsibly for carrying their own water and food throughout the race. There won’t be aid stations or water stops along the course, but there will be aid in critical areas where teams may not be able to have access to their runners or walkers.

All teams are required to provide 2 volunteers, unless you are an Ultra team, in which you would only be required to have 1.

After you’ve completed the race, celebrate at the beer garden with some free tokens and the option to buy a pint or two of any of the 5 local Bend breweries that will be waiting there for you. You’ll have your pick between 10 Barrel Brewing, Crux Fermentation Project, Silver Moon, Deschutes Brewery, Worthy Brewing, Atlas Cider, and Humm Kombucha. Friends and family can join the party and enjoy the beer, the numerous food options, and the music at Riverbend Park.

If you have never tried running a relay before, I would highly recommend you put at least one in your “bucket list” of races. The community of doing this together as a team is something you can’t quite explain unless you’ve been there. If you are on the fence about which one you’d do, I’d say the Cascade Lakes Relay is a definite contender.



What: Cascade Lakes Relay

When: August 4th – 5th 2017

Where: Diamond Lake Resort, Bend

Register: Here.

Registration Cost: Running Team (7-12 Runners) $1700, Walking Team (7-12 Walkers) $1300, High School Team $300, Ultra Team (4-6 Runners) $1000, CLR24 Team (7-12 Runners) $1300

About Nikki Mueller (536 Articles)
I'm the owner of Healthy Girl Fitness and I'm a personal trainer, certified AFAA group exercise instructor, and an RRCA certified running coach in SW Portland. I am also the mother of two young boys and am on the board at my youngest son's school. I led a relatively inactive life throughout my 20's until I discovered the world of fitness and running. I ran my first marathon in 2006 and haven't looked back since.

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