Learn more about the Cascade Lakes Relay (Each August)

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 5th and 6th.

The Basics

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 in Southern Oregon 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.

Other Options

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 5th in the afternoon and are projected to finish between 9:00AM and 1:00PM on Saturday, August 6th. 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.

For Consideration

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.

Check out our recap here!


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 local beer, cider, and 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.


Cascade Lakes Relay

When: August 5th – 6th 2022

Where: Diamond Lake Resort to Bend

Register: Here

Registration Cost:

  • 1st 100 Running Teams (7-12 runners) $1980; 100+ Running Teams $2100
  • Ultra Team (4-6 runners) $1200


About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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