Zeal Relays by David Allison

This post is brought to AZ MRTT/SRTT by David Allison, race director for the Zeal Relays.  Arizona MRTT/SRTT members contact your local chapter leader(s) for discounts to this family friendly race.

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What is Zeal Relays?

Zeal Relays is a completely new type of running event for the entire family that is coming to Phoenix, AZ (Ahwatukee) on February 23rd at Mountain Pointe High School.

There is truly no other race like this out there!

What we’ve done is taken a 5K* road race and put it on a 400-meter track and divided it up into three distinct relays, which teams compete in. Teams can be comprised of 2, 3 or 4 people and can be all male, all female or coed. No one person runs more than 1.25 miles total in the three races combined. If you look at the tables below, you can see how each race breaks down by distance for each leg. Looking at the 4-person division table, you see that Runner #1 will run 200 meters in the Pulled Hammy Relay, 600 meters in the Breaking Wind Relay and finally another 600 meters in the Heavy Breather Relay, for a combined total distance of 1400 meters (just under 1 mile).

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*Distance is actually 6000 meters (3.72 mi)

Why do this race?

#1 – You can actually watch your friends and family compete in this race because it’s on the track. How many times have family and friends told you that they’ll simply meet you at the finish line or after your race? They never see you compete – with Zeal Relays they now can.

#2 – This is more than a race – it’s a running carnival. There will be music playing, an announcer calling the races, vendors selling / promoting goods and services, food being sold and maybe even some games to play!

#3 – There are multiple ways to win prizes/awards. If your team is fast, then you’ll have a chance to win the overall or age division team categories. If your team can come up with a creative team name, team uniform and/or original baton (this is a B.Y.O.B event – Bring Your Own Baton) then you can win prizes for that as well. And if your team isn’t too quick, then we even have two very attainable Bullz-eye Time Challenges (somewhere between 7-11 min/mi average), where if your team runs closest to these times without going over, then you have a chance at a team award.

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#4 – Family, friends, work, club bonding – Create teams within your friends, family, work or club members and see who can have bragging rights.

#5 – Kid fun – If you have kids (5-10 years old) then we also have Kids Zeal Relays, which are shuttle style relays (going straight away and back) where teams of 4, 6 or 8 kids compete against others. These are 60-80-meter sprint relays. Release The Hounds Relay is just a straight forward run. Beep…Beep…Beep Relay is a backward running race. And Crab Legs Relay is a side shuffle race. Age divisions for these relays are 5-6, 7-8 and 9-10.

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#6 – Compete against others not just your watch – While we are all big fans of PRs (Personal Records) and pushing yourself to be your best, it’s still good once in a while to actually race others. Competition is healthy when done right. On a track, when someone passes you, it just feels more personal than when you’re out there on a trail or road racing. Perhaps it’s just because you’re in a more confined space, but whatever the reason, we think this type of event will ratchet up your dog-eat-dog mentality more than your usual road race.

#7 – Relays are just plain fun! Many of us may have never even done track growing up, but there is something about handing off a baton to a teammate in a race and giving it your all that makes you run just a little bit harder than if you were running for only yourself.

#8 – It’s affordable. Right now, without any discount codes, prices are $15 per kid and $40 per adult. But with the numerous amount of codes flying around out there, you should be able to save 15%-25% on these prices.

#9 – You’ll be the first! Like we said this is a brand-new event, which we think is pretty darn cool and believe can grow exponentially in the next couple of years. You can say you were at the very first one – and believe me, we will never forget you for that!

#10 – Good for any and all types of runners and non-runners. If you do longer races usually, then heck, this could be your speed workout for the week. If you’re a newbie, then this race isn’t as overwhelming or long as a 5K or 10K. And just because it’s shorter, doesn’t mean there isn’t a different type of challenge for you, which will be running at a quicker pace than you probably train at normally. And if you’re just a person who wants to be active and do something fun that may send your mind back to grade school or summer camp, then this race has that element, too.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your friends and family and come register for Zeal Relays!

Check out our Zeal Relays YouTube Channel with explanation videos.

Sign up to our email list for race updates and great registration discounts and a chance at a free entry.

AZ MRTT/SRTT members check the state FB page for the team entry giveaway through Dec. 10, 2018 and check with your local chapter leader for registration discounts!

David Allison has been an Ahwatukee resident for nearly 14 years. He is lucky to be married to an amazing woman, have two usually pretty awesome kids and their funny dog, Lia. David is a top masters level runner, former Division I collegiate athlete (University of Pennsylvania), a current USATF youth club coach (Phoenix Flyers Track Club) and was the Head Cross-Country and Distance Track Coach at Mountain Pointe High School (2007-2012), as well as the Head Cross-Country and Track Coach at Gateway Community College (2006-2010). He has an all-time PR of 2:27.17 in the marathon and was a top-50 finisher in the Boston Marathon in 2006. Since turning to the masters’ ranks (40 years of age or older) in 2010, he has posted best times in the 5K, mile and 800 meters of 15:36, 4:27 and 2:03, respectively.

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