Ken Speaks (please listen – he’s one good guy)!

Alright – the first of what will be a few well-worded, expertly written numbered bullets from the Race Director (RD) to all 100 TEAMS (yikes – I remember when it was 30 or so…) in the race.  Please take a few minutes to soak it all in – especially the last few lines.  Seriously – this guy pours it all into this race…the least we can do is everything we can to make it safe and fun.

TO: Captains and Teams

From: Ken Sevensky

DATE: July 25, 2009

RE: Blue Ridge Relay Planning

Several items to assist with your planning and to assist with our planning.

  1. Welcome to the 2009 Blue Ridge Relay.
  2. The 100 team limit has been reached.  We’ve been communicating with several additional teams and will allow their entry.  So the final field will have a just over 100 teams.  Otherwise, the field is closed.
  3. Rental Vans: We’ve partnered with Enterprise for special discounted rates for van or other vehicle rentals.  These rates apply to any Enterprise location. Any questions, please contact Molly at Enterprise.  Her contact information is on the Logistics page.
  4. Finish Line Hotel: Four Points Sheraton is right across the street from the Finish Line and within walking distance (2 blocks) of downtown Asheville and Mellow Mushroom. Our reserved block of rooms with a reduced rate is almost full, so if you still need a room(s), make your reservation quickly.  Tell them that you are with the Blue Ridge Relay. Their contact information is on the Relay Logistics page under Lodging.
  5. Mellow Mushroom will once again have a great presence at the Post Relay Drawing (PRD) and is extending their standard 15% discount for all runners who present their Relay bibs to their server.
  6. Mizuno USA will once again have a tremendous presence at the Relay. Check out their latest shoes and apparel on their website linked from our Homepage and at their Finish Line Booth. Some highlights, in addition to team awards and prizes (including shoes) for the PRD, include:
    1. Best Decorated Van Contest: the team and driver(s) are recipients of Mizuno Technical shirts.
    2. Mizuno MVP: One runner from every tenth team to finish will receive a great Mizuno package including shoes, shirt, hat…the team chooses the MVP.  Don’t ask the Officials the team count, because we’re not telling.
    3. Mizuno Attitude Awards: Mizuno reps will be mixing and mingling at numerous exchange zones on the course.  Runners that show their Relay spirit…enthusiasm, encouragement, sportsmanship…will be awarded a Mizuno gift on the spot.  (I hope Mizuno is coming loaded!).
  7. Night Running? Lights Required! Need Lights? Check out GoMotion, linked from the Sponsors page. In addition to offering a pre-Relay discount for Blue Ridge Relay runners, several runners will be leaving the PRD with the fantastic Trail Runner LiteVest.
  8. Purple Mountain Massage will be offering massages at the finish line throughout the day.  Cost is $1 per each minute (e.g. 10 minute massage is $10).  Nine 10 minute massages will be given away at the finish line throughout the day.  All appointments will be made at the Officials’ Tent.
  9. Blue Ridge Relay t-shirts, crew sweatshirts, hoodie sweatshirts, baseball caps, water bottles, and travel mugs will soon be available for purchase on the website.  These items must be pre-ordered and will be available for pick-up at the finish line.  These items will not be for sale at the finish line.  These are the soft, washed comfort colors. They’ll make great gifts for your drivers, spouses, and children!
  10. The Green Valley Volunteer Fire Department will again be hosting the transition zone in Plumtree at Plumtree Presbyterian Church.  They will again be offering turkey or ham sandwiches with the fixins, fresh apples, and ice-cold bottled water for $6.  This group of men and women are exceptionally gracious to the Blue Ridge Relay every year.  This sandwich stop is not only great service for the Relay, but is also a great fundraiser for this community volunteer fire department.
  11. Pensacola Community Group: This group of men hosts monthly pancake breakfasts as a community event and fundraiser for local charities, and have added one more breakfast to their schedule…to support the Relay.  Pancakes, coffee, orange juice, fruit cocktail, and bacon, will be available at our last Transition Zone (Exchange Zone 30 in Pensacola). Cost is $5. At this exchange zone, you may find a place inside to get some sleep. Get ready to be overwhelmed with hospitality.
  12. Captains, please get a count of runners that will eat sandwiches at Plumtree and breakfast in Pensacola.  Email a count for each location to me by August 14.  This is not a reservation, but will assist these community groups in their food preparation.
  13. Habitat for Humanity is our Charitable Partner this year.  Every dollar raised will go directly to local Habitat for Humanity affiliates.  As noted on the Charities page, please make checks out to Ashe Habitat for Humanity, mail your donations to the Blue Ridge Relay, and the funds will be dispersed from the Ashe Habitat affiliate.  The Blue Ridge Relay is again offering a FREE ENTRY into the 2010 Blue Ridge Relay for the team that raises the most ($3,500 minimum).  Several of our exchange zones will be staffed by Habitat volunteers.  The 2008 Blue Ridge Relay raised $16,654.08, which was donated to two local domestic abuse shelters.  Thanks for supporting our local mountain communities.
  14. Post Relay Drawing and Awards: At approximately 6:00pm at the Finish Line, we’ll conduct the Awards Ceremony for the winning teams in each category.  But we won’t stop there…  We’ve got a bundle of extra prizes for our PRD from our Event Sponsors, including Mizuno USA, GoMotion, Mellow Mushroom Asheville, Trail Dog Outfitters, Jus’ Running, Foot Rx, and many, many more PRD sponsors. Runners must enter the drawing to be eligible.  To enter, drop the tear off “Raffle/Drawing” portion of your Relay bib in the PRD (may be labeled DRAWING) box at the Officials’ Tent throughout the day.  You must be present to win and you must have your Relay bib in hand to receive a prize.
  15. Captains: As we approach last minute prep time, please share all correspondence that you receive from the Blue Ridge Relay with your team, including drivers. In addition, all correspondence to the Blue Ridge Relay should come from Team Captains ONLY.  We will only respond to emails received from Team Captains.  This is a busy time for you and us.  If your runners have questions, they need to direct them through you.  We greatly appreciate your understanding.
  16. Solo Runner: We have one solo runner this year, who reports that training is going well.  He will be wearing #1 on his bib.  If his start time is planned appropriately and he has a strong race, you may see him over the final legs.
  17. One Final Thought(s): This is the 5th year of the Blue Ridge Relay, which has grown from 10 teams (2005), 35 (2006), 48 (2007), 78 (2008), and 100 (2009). The BRR may not be the biggest relay in the country, but it is the longest, most challenging, and most scenic.  In addition, our desire is for the BRR to be the most intimate, friendly, and fun.  With 100 teams, everyone involved needs to do their part.  Please remember that safety is our first priority.  Drivers and runners need to be defensive.  Please be courteous at all times to those involved with the BRR and those that are not.  Please drive cautiously, drive slowly on gravel/dirt roads, do not shadow your runner, and always look at least twice for runners when moving your vehicle.  All rules will be enforced and every runner, driver, and team needs to know and apply them.  The rules are in place for three primary reasons: safety, courtesy, and efficiency. Thank you.

To the Start….

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