River to Sea: The New Jersey Cousin of all Relays

If Hood to Coast is the Mother, then River to Sea is the New Jersey cousin who doesn’t get all that much attention anywhere else, but is a big deal here in Jersey. I can’t believe it’s in just TEN DAYS! Because it’s not a Ragnar, or American Odyssey, or Reach the Beach, I thought I would give a little rundown on the event for all of you who aren’t familiar with it…this is probably most of you.r2c

The relay, known as R2C, is about 90 miles (give or take for detours, etc.) and starts on the Delaware River in the sleepy riverside town of Milford. It heads south on Route 29, the highway that hugs the Delaware closely, until it veers east in Lambertville up Route 518. Eventually it ends up passing through my territory, cutting through Skillman, Kingston, and Princeton Forrestal Village. Then the course hits up some Monmouth County towns and Allaire State Park, and ends at the beach in Manasquan. There are two vehicles per team, 145 teams, staggered start times, seven runners, and fourteen legs.

What makes the relay awesome is the tradition and the camaraderie. Often, you’ll get to meet members of other teams who you seem to see at every exchange point…and of course try to beat them. Each leg has a name, and frequent R2Cers will have tons of stories surrounding each one. The legs are…

1. 4.8 mi: easy, fast
2. 8.2 mi: clear, wide shoulders, the BEST
3. 6.1 mi: towpath
4. 8.6 mi: THE BEAST: hilly, tough
5. 6.0 mi: rolling & a bit tight
6. 8.0 mi: stop-and-go, challenging
7. 3.9 mi: short, quick turns 
8. 5.5 mi: Oasis – over half way!
9. 9.1 mi: LONG AND HOT
10. & 11. WILD CARD: 13.9 miles total split up any way between 2 people
12. 6.5 mi: “piece of cake, but the cake is in the oven”Image
13. 7.9 mi: competitive, “do-or-die”
14. 2.5 mi: final sprint to the sea!
I’ve been a part of the relay for the past three years, and each year had its own stories….
2010: Team Oh Snap!
I was just the driver this year. We did the last…85 miles with a donut because of a flat tire at the first exchange zone. Was the team name a bad omen?
2011: Team NJXtreme
This was a pretty awesome day for me. I averaged 7:05 pace, and we had a ton of fun.
2012: Team Seven Hot Beaches
Last year I was asked by a friend to fill in for someone on her team last minute. I had a feeling I was getting a stress fracture in my hip & I had one run left in me…but I felt okay and wanted to try. So, I only ended up doing Leg 2 and then sitting out in pain the rest of the day. I had mixed thoughts about R2C17, obviously, as I was prepared for the day to play out as it did.
This year, 2013, will be my first time running on a coed team, and I’m excited! I think we have a really fun group…which is a must if you’re going to be spending an entire day in a car with them! This will be my first time doing R2C and having a blog/Twitter, so stay tuned on August 3rd to see what Brennan and I are up to as we run across the state of NJ (with some help)!

5 thoughts on “River to Sea: The New Jersey Cousin of all Relays”

  1. I’ve never even heard of this relay, which is ridiculous, because I’m a Jersey girl before anything else (despite being replanted a bunch of times). Wow. I have very few “bucket-list” races, but THIS ONE just made it on that list. Can’t wait to ‘share’ – or at least read about – the adventure! 🙂

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