Are you looking for a team building opportunity for your business? Do you need a grassroots marketing opportunity in your local community? Do you just love to run and want to spread your love for the sport at work? Overnight running relays, like Oregon’s Cascade Lakes Relay and Hood to Coast or Washington’s Spokane to Sandpoint or Ragnar Northwest Passage might be just the opportunity you’ve been looking for.

Overnight relays are team running events that bring together up to twelve runners or walkers to complete a course that typically runs two hundred miles over scenic roads and trails. Each runner will take a turn running between three and seven miles, and they’ll do this three times over the course of the event. The race doesn’t stop during the night; runners keep running in the dark using headlamps. It’s a unique running challenge that also presents fantastic opportunities for businesses looking to promote a variety of programs. Here are five compelling reasons you should consider signing your company up for a corporate team:

1. Support health and fitness initiatives within your company.
Corporate wellness programs take many forms. Providing the opportunity for employees to train and complete an overnight running relay supports fitness initiatives in a concrete and visible way, and it creates a compelling story that spreads across the company. The stories of triumph and accomplishment will inspire not only the participants but also the employees watching from the sidelines. Support the team’s efforts by sharing their stories companywide, through the company blog or newsletter. (See this post from Strasburger Attorneys at Law.)

2. Provide a unique team building opportunity that transcends departments.
The experience of competing together over a long weekend can bring individuals together in a way that few other team building opportunities can. A unique bond is formed when you spend 30 hours in a van, without sleep, cheering each other on towards a shared goal. Consider sponsoring a corporate team if you want to build cross-team relationships. (See this post from Google.)

3. Create a public relations opportunity.
Relays are all about stories. Run for a cause, raise money for a favorite charity, bring your employees together for this challenge; just tell a compelling story. Use the relay experience to tell your story and relate to your customers. (See this story from Genworth Financial.)

2013 CLRG 849

Avista Power Outage represents Avista Utilities at the 2013 Spokane to Sandpoint.

4. Execute a grassroots marketing campaign.
One of the unique features of an overnight running relay is that you have the opportunity to interact with other teams for over 24 hours in an environment that encourages supporting each other and having fun together. Teams that cater to runners and walkers can use the opportunity to make personal connections, which have a far greater impact than any print or online marketing initiative. Create in-race opportunities with hashtag contests, sponsor an exchange point and hand out samples in addition to what you’re doing with your team, hand out temporary tattoos, host a contest to have customers join you on your team…the opportunities are endless. (See this post from Garmin and this post from Nuun.)

5. Demonstrate commitment to your local community.
Sometimes you just need to be local. Using the opportunity to interact with people who work and play where you do can have benefits that are not always immediately obvious. Humanizing your company is a good way to forge relationships and goodwill at a local level. If you have an overnight relay that is right in your backyard, consider forming a team to be a part of it.

Cascade Relays offers two overnight relays – the 216 mile Cascade Lakes Relay, which begins at Diamond Lake Resort and finishes on the Deschutes in downtown Bend, Oregon, and the 200 mile Spokane to Sandpoint, which starts on top of Mt Spokane, Washington and finishes on the shore of Lake Pend Oreille in Sandpoint, Idaho. We strongly support our corporate teams, and we are more than happy to discuss with you ways you can maximize the impact of your corporate team.