Fun Relay Questions & Answers

Some team relay captains have been asking good questions and we’d like to share some of those along with our answers:

Are there any rules for the team relay?

Yes, you and your teammates must each wear their bib number because the team number will be checked off at each aid station.  If your team number is not checked in at each station you will be disqualified.  This rule is really just to help make sure each runner is safely tracked, so please help us keep our Forest Service permit for next year and follow this rule to the letter.

How should we assign which legs runners will complete?

You are wide open to choose whatever you want to do for sharing the relay run legs, but here are some ideas to get you started . . . Some people will choose to run the first 1/2 of the 50 Mile course and exchange only once at Saltese (or Haugen) and have a partner run the last 1/2 or so.  Some teams will alternate where they run every other leg (1, 3, 5, 7) and take a break while one or more teammates runs a leg (2, 4, 6, 8).  Some teams will have 8 people who each choose one leg with varying lengths between 3 and 9.5 miles.  You decide what works for your team numbers and members!

How does TRR track the relay team times?

This race is pretty informal as far as rules or timing splits.  Your relay team will secure the Competitive Timing timing chip to the runner that is crossing the finish line.  Thus, whoever will be running the last leg (whatever you choose that to be) should wear the one chip for the team.  If for some reason it changes during race day, please be sure to transfer the chip.  The time the chip crosses the finish line will be your official team time.

Will there be split times for legs?

No, as you can tell from the answer above, there’s only one chip so we won’t be giving out split times.  Your team can track their own split times based on the starting time of 6:00 PST/7:00 MST, or with a timing device.

Is this a competitive team relay race?

No, this is a recreational team relay race.   We don’t keep split times and we do not track or place restrictions on team numbers, ages, or gender.   This if for fun!  With that in mind, some teams may choose to coordinate with another team so that they are paired up to run with someone else (for companionship).   While we’re working on prizes for the top 3 overall relay teams, we’re working to try to have something fun for all of the teams.  Please be courteous and consider yielding to solo racers who may be competing with other solo racers for time.

Are the exchange stations the same as the aid station check points?

Yes, the check points are the aid stations.   These also serve as relay exchange zones and are on a map here: The exchange stations are essentially every  I-90 exit – *except Henderson exit* -beginning at Lookout Pass (Exit 0) and ending at Two Mile (Exit 32) outside of St. Regis, Montana.  Read more about exits here: Wiki on Mineral County and here: Third party Commercial Website

How long is each leg of the race / how far apart is each exchange zone?

The information on distance between exchange zones can be found on the Trail Rail Run website at: and that listing discusses 7 “legs”.  The most legs possible is 8 legs, and the corresponding distances are as follows:
1. Mullan to Lookout Pass (8 miles slight uphill),
2. Lookout Pass to Taft* Exit (9.5 miles downhill),
3. Taft* to Saltese (7.5 miles),
4. Saltese to Haugen (5-6 miles);
5. Haugen to Deborgia (3-4 miles),
6. Deborgia to Ward Creek (7.5 miles),
7. Ward Creek to Two Mile Road (~3-4 miles) and
8. Two Mile Road to St. Regis (~3-4 miles with about 1 mile on pavement).

Do I need to sign up for the shuttle / how do I get to exchange zones?

The only shuttle you may want to sign up for is the 50 mile shuttle.  You can choose to get a ride to the 50 miles starting line.  BUT, if you have teammates who want to sleep in – we’ll give you a ride to the starting line!  Remember, the gun goes off at 6:00 a.m. PST/7:00 a.m. MST – Sharp!   Of course, this also means that you must provide your own transportation to exchange zones!  Teams may wish to carpool as much as possible or share one large car and advance along the trail while they wait for their teammates to arrive.

Where do the names on the listing of legs come from?

The names on this list correspond to the names of the I-90 interstate exits.   The only exit between Lookout Pass (Exit 0) and the finish line (accessed via St. Regis, Montana, Exit 33) which cannot access the course is Henderson Exit because it is on the wrong side of the St. Regis river from the Trail.

Do all the members of the race need to complete equal race distances?

No, if you want to have 6 members who will run about the same distance (~7 – ~9.5 miles) then you just combine legs 4&5 and then legs 7&8 (listed above).   From there, you do the math on what sections of the race you’d like to run!

What is the course’s difficulty level and what are the legs like?

The course is on railroad grade so it is pretty level.  The first leg climbs from Mullan to the top of the pass.  The second leg descends off of the pass.  From there, it is pretty level.  There are a few long, straight stretches, and there is one patch – right after Haugen – which has been rocky in the past.  We hope to have that rocky section much improved this year.  The later legs run along the river  and over a few bridges.  The earlier legs run over 2 trestles and through 2 tunnels.

If I am running more than one “leg” at a time, will there be food for  me to eat at the aid stations?

Yes, you’ll be following the same course, at the same time, as the solo 50 milers.  This means that you’ll be encountering aid stations with the standard water, Heed, and Hammer gels, but you’ll also find real food along the trail including PBJs, fruit, cookies, and a random assortment of goodness at each aid station.  So, if your teammates leave you and head to the finish line to start drinking beer, at least the Trail Rail Run will take care of you!
Please post, email or call with any additional questions and we’ll try to share the information with other!