Runners flock to red rocks for annual relay race

Posted at 8:43 PM, Sep 13, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-13 22:43:57-04

BRIAN HEAD, Utah - Runners from all over the state are in southern Utah this weekend running the Red Rock Relay.

The teams of 12 will run 187 miles in one and a half days from Brian Head to Zion National Park.

Earlier this year, Forbes magazine called it one of the top ten relay races to travel to. People from across the state, and the country, come to participate. This year is the fifth annual Red Rock Relay, and teams set out with a lot of energy.

“I’m excited,” runner Troy Galbraith said. “But we’ll see. By the end of tomorrow, maybe I won’t be saying that.”

Runners said the key to gearing up for the day and a half run is staying loose.

“Listen to good music and hang out with fun people,” runner Rachel Galbraith said. “And you just relax, really, because if you psych yourself out, you’re just setting yourself up.”

Those 187 miles take these runners through all different aspects of southwestern Utah, from up in the top of the mountains in Iron County to the red rocks of Washington County. Some runners said they do it just for fun, but others said they’re doing it to honor those who wanted to make this run, but couldn’t.”

Team Katrina is running the race for their sister, Katrina Lawrence. Katrina died in May of 2013 while giving birth to her sixth child. Her brothers said the relay is something she always wanted to do

“I’ve never wanted to do it,” joked her brother Rex Galbraith. “But I feel obligated now.”

Galbraith said they keep a positive attitude, but the race is a sentimental one.

“We’re just going to do this in her honor, and we have another van full of my siblings and friends as well.”

But no matter for whom they’re running, it’s not a competition. They’re all cheering each other on. Runners said that’s what the relay is all about; proving to yourself that you can do hard things.

“As a whole you’re rooting for everybody,” runner Laila Bacciocco said. “And having a good time. You see other runners and you cheer them on.”

Teams will take turns running legs of the race through the night, and they will finish the relay on Saturday.