By its very nature, running and road racing is an individual sport. You win or you lose by yourself. Not so with the Car2Go Marathon Relay.

The ninth annual marathon relay is the second largest marathon relay in the country with more than 1800 runners. The Car2Go Relay will be held this Sunday (September 22), beginning at 7:30 a.m. at the start/finish line on Riverside, right across from Auditorium Shores.

Unlike most road races, this is a team event in the purest possible sense. The Car2Go Relay is a 26.2-mile standard marathon which is broken up into six legs that all consist of 4.37-mile legs. All the legs will hand off at the same start/finish line and relay exchange zone on Riverside, located near Auditorium Shores. All the legs will be on the same downtown course with an out-and back loop on Riverside, the South 1st Street Bridge and Cesar Chavez. The course is mostly flat without any difficult climbs.

This will be the first year of Car2Go’s sponsorship in partnership with Livestrong. The relay was started in 2005 and was called the Silicon Labs Marathon Relay for the first seven years and last year switched sponsorship to RetailMeNot before Car2Go stepped in. This year Livestrong and Back On My Feet (an organization which uses running to help the homeless) are the prime beneficiaries of the relay.

About 300 teams (and 1800 runners) from across the state are expected, making the Car2Go Relay, second only to the Beach to Bay Relay in Corpus Christi, in terms of number of participants. Most of the teams consist of six runners, but some teams only have a couple (some runners are using the race as a long run workout) and usually there are even a few brave souls who do the entire race by themselves.

There are numerous divisions and solo runners can participate as well.

Packet pick up will be Saturday from 9-4 at Whole Foods at 6th and Lamar.

In the main race, there are 20 separate categories, including open men and women as well as all sorts of corporate teams.

The Car2Go Marathon Relay event record of 2:10:50 was set by Team Jack & Adam’s in 2009 and it could be broken this year, possibly by another team from Jack & Adam’s. There are several high-profile teams set to run and the race at the front should make for a fascinating battle in front of the thousands of spectators who will be gathered at Auditorium Shores.

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