Oct. 21, 2015
For immediate release

Ellen Moore
(916) 737-2627

Four-person event energizes runners to tackle marathon

The idea was to give runners a taste of the marathon atmosphere, hoping they’d want to make the jump to run the whole 26.2 miles in the future.

By that standard alone, the Bank of the West CIM Relay Challenge has evolved into a

huge success.

The four-person relay, introduced in 1991, is celebrating its 25th anniversary on December 6.

The relay has helped grow the marathon field and developed into a competitive event of its own.  It has also allowed a segment of the community not running the marathon to be a part of the weekend’s celebrations.

“The Bank of the West Marathon Relay is the best way for runners who aren’t ready for the full 26.2-mile distance to take part in the CIM’s festivities. And because it’s a team event, it’s a great way for a family or group of friends to participate together and celebrate their passion for running,” said race director Eli Asch.

“The 25th annual Bank of the West CIM Relay is shaping up to be a special one, as we’re fully embracing the ‘silver anniversary’ theme in this year’s relay shirts and medals.”

Southwest Airlines sponsored the original relay, which drew about 15 teams. Sutter Health won the Large Company Men’s division in 2:40:56, with California Chamber claiming the Co-ed title in 3:24:50 and Original Pete’s Pizza winning the Small Company Men’s Division in 3:08:19.

A high school division was added in 1994 – Oakmont won in 2:58:11 – setting the stage for future growth. A Political Animals Division was added in 2005 and a Police-Fire Division in 2007.  Bank of the West was added as the title sponsor in 2013.

The relay kept growing, attracting about 200 teams in 1999, 350 in 2005 and close to 500 in 2006. This year’s field is expected to include 1,000 teams.

Relay legs are 5.9 miles, 7.6 miles, 7.0 miles and 5.7 miles, with exchange points coming at Oak Avenue and Fair Oaks Boulevard, Manzanita Avenue and Fair Oaks Boulevard and Munroe and Fair Oaks Boulevard. Teams can also compete in the relay with two runners each covering a half marathon or three runners with staggered legs.

The CIM is put on by the Sacramento Running Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding ways to encourage people of all ages and abilities to run. The SRA is committed to developing new, quality running events that appeal to a broad variety of runners.

Other SRA events include the California Family Fitness Super Sunday Run on February 7, the Credit Union SACTOWN Run on April 3 and the Gold Rush 50k on May 14.

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