Nearly 6,000 runners took off this morning from Huntington Beach, Calif., for the 200-mile journey to San Diego, Calif., in the annual Ragnar Relay. The gun went off early this morning and the 450 teams headed out in waves, The North County Times reported.
The Ragnar Relay is a unique race because not only is it a team-based event, but also it requires runners to run in the middle of the night on little to no sleep after jumping in and out of a crowded van. Each team consists of 12 people running about 200 miles broken up into 36 legs that range from three to eight miles. Two vans leapfrog with the runners along the course. The teams will run all day Friday and through the night until they reach the finish line on Coronado Island Saturday morning.
This year, 18 past contestants of the television show, “The Biggest Loser” are taking on the course, running as teams, Ragnar Blue and Ragnar Black.
Some teams run to raise money, some run to win the race, some run to win the best team name contest and others just like to enjoy the fun of driving and running down the coast in their decorated vans and outlandish costumes. Top-finishing teams win awards and everyone receives a finisher’s medal.