2ND ANNUAL HEARTLAND RELAY 200 - IS THIS HEAVEN? NO, IT'S IOWA
DES MOINES TO OMAHA - FEATURING THE WABASH TRACE TRAIL AND THE BOB KERREY PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE
36 LEGS, 202 MILES
Saturday - Sunday June 6 - 7, 2015
If you would like to try a one-day 75-mile relay with a team of five, check out our Heartland Relay 75!
The Heartland Relay takes on the Midwest each spring. Early season blooms and historical landmarks await participants on the 200 miles of backroads and trails in the heartland of America.
The relay starts just outside of Des Moines in the small town of Winterset. Winterset is the birthplace of John Wayne and is located in Madison County.
The first half of the course crisscrosses through farmland, taking teams to Clarinda, Iowa (the birthplace of Glenn Miller), and then on to Blanchard, a quaint town two blocks north of Missouri, and the start of one of Iowa's premier trails, the rails-to-trails Wabash Trace Nature Trail.
The Wabash Trace Trail winds through the scenic Iowa countryside for sixty-three miles to the outskirts of Council Bluffs. Runners then go around Lake Manawa State Park, past the Western Historic Trails Center, to the Missouri River, where the final runner on each team will cross the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge. The finish and post race celebration (pizza and beer) is at Miller's Crossing on the banks of the Missouri River.
ARE YOU NEW TO THE RELAY RACE FORMAT? NO PROBLEM! HERE'S THE SKINNY ON THE HLR 200:
- Relay teams are divided into two main categories that tackle the 200 miles of race course: 12-person teams, or Ultra teams. The most popular team organization is the 12-person category (7 - 12 runners). With the mileage divided into 36 legs, each teammate will have 3 legs to run over the course of the race. The fun part is the categorization of each team depending upon their demographic makeup. From mixed to all female groups, all teams will find themselves competing against like teams. For those looking for a bigger challenge, there is the Ultra team categories (4 - 6 runners), or for the really adventurous, the Super Ultra categories (3 or less on a team). If runners are up for a shorter challenge, check out the Heartland Relay 75 - a one-day, 75-mile relay with a team of five.
- High School teams are also invited to participate and have a discounted registration fee.
- The Heartland Relay is a form of adventure race. There aren't any police escorts or pacing crews; the Heartland Relay is an adventure-race format that is self-supported and takes place on open trails and roads. While detailed maps are provided and the course is very well marked, each and every team is expected to support themselves from race start to race finish.
- "From sea to shining sea;All across the land; Come to together hand in hand." The Heartland Relay takes place in the heart of the Midwest, which means that there will be varying terrain. The best part? Each leg is ranked based on difficulty, which means that your team can divvy up the legs based on ability and level of difficulty. We've worked hard to create a one of a kind race experience that anyone can enjoy - from the recreational weekend warriors to the 100-mile-a-week speedsters.
The Heartland Relay is an unforgettable experience from beginning to end. Beginning just outside of Des Moines in the small town of Winterset (birthplace of John Wayne), the course takes teams through wide open expanses and enigmatic back roads. The scenic and remote course runs through Wabash Trace Nature Trail, as well as into Lake Manawa State Park. Perhaps the most memorable part of the race is running at night; whether the Heartland Relay takes place during a full moon or a sky full of stars, runners experience a night run (or two!) that is unlike any other.
The Helter Skelter category is available for both 12-person and Ultra teams and is a non-competitive category. Whereas competitive teams must follow the standard relay rules of keeping the running order of their team intact, the Helter Skelter category is for teams that choose to have their runners run in any order they want. No awards are given to the top teams in the Helter Skelter category.
Teams start in waves from 5:00 AM to 12:00 PM - a team's starting time is dependent on a team's pace.
Are you an individual runner looking to join a team, or a team looking for runners? Check out our Team Matching Message Board.
In order for The Heartland Relay to be a success, each team will be responsible for choosing one of the two volunteer options- one of which benefits local community non-profit organizations.
In this way, we will secure the commitment of the more than 200 volunteers necessary to act as Race Marshals, staffing the Start and Finish areas, and the 35 exchange points along the course.
THE HEARTLAND RELAY IS A FORM OF ADVENTURE RACE
The Heartland Relay is an adventure race in that teams are running continuously through the night to reach the finish. Many find this to be the highlight of their experience - their run in the middle of the night under the stars or full moon. But as it is an adventure race with a 202-mile route, teams must be aware of and accept certain responsibilities:
- Teams are self supporting - teams are responsible to stocking their vans with their own water, food, first aid supplies, etc. While directional arrows are placed on the course, the responsibility of knowing and following the prescribed course rests with each participant. Please always print, study and understand the leg maps available for print on this website.
- Hazards are not marked - runners should proceed with caution.
- The route is not closed to traffic - runners are running on the side of the road. Therefore, appropriate rules (for safety and for consideration to the people who live there) apply.
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You should find answers to most of your questions on this web site. If not, feel free to contact us.