The third annual Southern Odyssey Relay will feature teams of runners covering about 200 miles during a two-day, nonstop relay race that heads north from Rome before flipping a U-turn in Chattanooga and heading south to finish in Kennesaw. The first teams will depart Rome at about 7 a.m. today.
It is certainly a unique challenge, said Severo Avila, Roman Life editor at the Rome News-Tribune and captain of a local 12-runner team dubbed Mediocre Expectations.
“This is going to be a tough race. Two hundred miles is a long way, even split among 12 runners. Some of us have been training pretty intensely and some not so much. But it’s all about having fun,” said Avila.
Most teams will be comprised of the maximum 12 runners — though one particularly tough guy is racing the whole thing by himself — and teams will be separated into two vehicles to run the various segments of the race. Each runner does three legs of varying difficulty, and one person must be running at all times until the finish line is reached.
“We’ve got a fun group of people, so we’re excited,” said Avila. “Plus it’s great to be representing Rome in a big race like this that begins right here at Heritage Park.”