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21st Annual Wild West Relay

Fri August 2 - Sat August 3, 2024 Fort Collins, CO 80524 US

Relay 101

What is it?

A 200-mile relay road race is a team-oriented event with 36 legs. Each team consists of either twelve runners and two vehicles (the vast majority of the teams) or six runners and one vehicle (Ultra teams).


Teams are self-supporting. Each 12-person team supplies two vehicles, an Active Van and a Resting Van. The active van is the vehicle that carries the runners who are currently running the course; the resting van carries the runners who are eating and/or resting before it is their turn. The active van prepositions itself at a predetermined point called an Exchange to drop off the next runner and pick up the current runner. Ultra teams supply one van which is always an active van.

12 person teams (7-12 runners) divide into two groups with four/six runners per vehicle. While the Active Van is completing six legs, six runners in the Resting Van can shower, eat, or rest. Runners 1-6 will be assigned to Van 1, which will be active on Legs 1-6, 13-18 and 25-30. When Runner 6 hands the baton to Runner 7, Van 1 finishes its six legs and Van 2 begins. Similarly, Runners 7-12 will be assigned to Van 2, which will be active on Legs 7-12, 19-24 and 31-36. When Runner 12 hands the baton to Runner 1, Van 1 takes over. 

The following exchanges are called Van Exchanges and occur at every sixth Exchange. (6, 12, 18, 24, 30). Captains may calculate and anticipate the timing of Van Exchanges by using pace estimates of runners. To allow for error, Resting Vans should arrive at Van Exchanges 30 minutes prior to the predicted hand-off. Cell phones and 2-way radios are useful for van communications. However, please note that there are some sections of the relay route where there is no cell phone coverage.

Ultra and super ultra teams are permitted one van. A super ultra team must have a non-runner driving their support van for the entirety of the relay/race.


As a runner finishes their leg, they high five the next runner at the Exchange Point. The active van then drives on to the next exchange to wait for the runner to arrive.

Every sixth (36 legs) exchange is designated as a Van Exchange. This is where the active van and resting van change roles as runners in the first van have finished their five/six legs and the next van of runners begin theirs. During the late night/early morning hours, the resting van will preposition themselves at the next Van Exchange. During this "down" time, runners will throw out sleeping bags to try to get a bit of sleep before it is their turn to run again.


Teams need to stock their vans with water, food, sports drinks, and first aid kits. There are no aid stations at the exchanges. Some teams will do their own driving; some teams will recruit a driver for their van(s). Drivers do not fulfill the relay volunteer requirement. Please click on the Equipment List for required and recommended equipment to make your adventure successful!


Volunteers are critical to the success of any running event, especially relays! Each team has the option to provide volunteer(s) who sign up in advance OR to make a tax deductible donation to support volunteer groups that we'll recruit. Many of these volunteer groups have been working with this relay since it started 20 years ago, and the fees we donate to them help their organizations. When the team captain signs up, they'll make the selection on how your team wants to handle volunteers. Below are the two (2) options that the Team Captain will have to decide upon when The Team Captain registers themselves and their team:

Option 1: Supply Volunteers: 12 person teams will supply three (3) volunteers; Ultra teams and High School teams will supply one (1) volunteer to staff the runner exchanges. 

Option 2: Teams can choose to make a tax-deductible donation to Windsor Gives, 501(c)3 non-profit to support with providing volunteers for the relay. With Option 2, Windsor Gives will email the Team Captain an invoice through Stripe, within 72 hours of the team captains registration to submit your donation via credit card, check or money order. Please click on Volunteer Pricing for donation pricing/important dates.

Be sure your volunteers can be flexible. As the relay route is from Fort Collins to Steamboat Springs and takes place from early Friday morning until late Saturday afternoon, the race marshal assignments can be anywhere along the route and at any time during the relay (including the middle of the night). Volunteers and/or the Captain of their team will be able to select the time and location of their assignment from the available options online June 7, 2024 on the Volunteer Sign Up tab on this race website. Please note that the non-profit groups are assigned to their exchanges prior to the team's volunteers being able to select their location.


The number of non-profit groups and volunteers is limited, so it is wise to register early if you want the non-profit volunteer option.

Only teams choosing Volunteer Option #2 for the non-profit volunteers are required to make a tax-deductible donation to Windsor Gives to to provide volunteers for the relay. Please see the donation schedule and important dates below:

*A team can decide to change from Volunteer Option #1 to Volunteer Option #2 up until 2 months before race day without penalty - you need to contact the race director to make this switch.
**Only if non-profit volunteers are available.
*** Teams who selected the option to supply their volunteers may choose to make a donation for individual non-profit volunteers if they are having problems filling their requirement. This option is only available if non-profit volunteers are available. The first price is if the request is made less than two months but more than three weeks before race day; the second price is if request is made within three weeks of race day.

Finish Times

Teams, depending on their pace, will be out on the course anywhere from 20 to 36 hours. Teams start in waves every fifteen to thirty minutes with the slower teams starting in the first wave and the elite teams starting in the last last, latest wave.

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