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Thousands run in 200-mile relay from Huntington Beach to Coronado

April 15, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Hundreds of teams are taking part in a wild 200-mile relay race that started in Huntington Beach and ends in Coronado.

Close to 6,000 runners headed out of Huntington Beach Friday morning for a 30-hour relay race that ends Saturday morning in San Diego, part of the Ragnar Relay Series. Some people run for fitness, some for charity, and many in costume just run for fun.

At 6 a.m. Friday, the first groups took off, and every 15 minutes more of the nearly 500 teams left Huntington Beach.

In total, 6,000 participants split up mostly into groups of 12 are running 200 miles in the Ragnar Relay. Each runner does three segments of about 5 miles apiece

The race is not only about the running, though. For many, it's really about the costumes -- from the Star Trek captain to the tie-dyed team, or the Navy ensigns known as the "Revolutionary Runners."

The route begins along the Orange County coast, goes inland, then heads west to San Diego beaches, ending in a big party on Coronado Island Saturday morning.

Every team has two vans they can decorate and sleep in. But sleep on this 30-hour journey is hard to come by.

"We find a little place to lie down at a couple of friends' houses every now and again, you get an hour or two," said Thousand Oaks resident Jan Newton, part of the "Mom in Motion" team.

Some people get creative with charities in mind, while others seem more focused on less noble pursuits.

"Basically this is a great opportunity for all of us to get out of work on a Friday, tell our bosses that we're ill and we wear costumes so that they don't see us," said Pacific Beach resident Andrew Newman.