North Carolina to Host GOMR Again in June
30 Mar, 2020
The Get Outside Mountain Relay is proud to announce that registration has opened for its fourth annual race, to be held June 5-6, 2020 among the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Alleghany County, North Carolina. The 210-mile race, which features an innovative hub and spoke relay design, invites teams of up to 12 to run or “ruck” the course loop in 5- to 7-mile installments, day and night, until the last team member crosses the finish line. Signups are now open for all three divisions: the 105-mile Half GOMR, the 210-mile Full GOMR, and the 105-mile GOMR Ruck, which invites participants to hike the course with a weighted pack.
What sets the GOMR apart from other relay races is the attention to runner experience through their innovative hub and spoke design. Unlike standard relay races, which require teams to pack into rented vans and drive from point to point whenever they’re not running, GOMR provides runner transportation to the course loop through a race-sponsored shuttle system. This innovative system saves teams money, decongests the racecourse, and results in an 88% decrease in shuttle miles driven over the course of the GOMR weekend.
When participants (affectionately called Gomers) are not running, they can kick up their feet and relax in GOMR Village—a pop-up camping village located on the campus of the Alleghany Wellness Center in Sparta, NC—without having to worry about any of the logistical headaches that accompany a traditional relay. Teams are encouraged to set up their own “camping arena” with tents, tables, chairs, and games as they enjoy a weekend of racing and community. Alternatively, teams can opt into the GOMR BNB and have their campsite set up and readied prior to arrival.
The story of the Get Outside Mountain Relay began in 2009 when founder Donny McCall ran his first relay race as a way to get back in shape. He fell in love with the format and began dreaming of ways he could host his own race. While organizing 5k races to benefit the local community, he found that the rural county roads were ideal for a circular style relay race but couldn’t support so many team vans constantly roaming the course route. That’s when he came up with his innovative hub and spoke design; by simply shuttling runners to and from the start and end points as needed, he cut down on van traffic and improved runners’ experiences by removing the logistical hurdles of renting and driving vans. Additionally, this new model allowed runners to spend more time at camp bonding with a like-minded community of athletes.
“GOMR is radically changing the norm but still sticks to the spirit of relay racing,” says Donny McCall, founder of the Get Outside Mountain Relay (also called the Head Gomer). “The two major differences between GOMR and other relays are that the start and finish are in the same location and teams will not have to rent vans and drive during the relay. We’re all doing relays because we want to achieve a personal goal and spend time with friends. Getting to spend that down time with your whole team in the relaxing and festive atmosphere of GOMR Nation trumps trying to find a parking space in some city with heavy traffic and hundreds of other vans.”
The race relies on an extensive network of volunteers McCall has recruited from community organizations. Dozens of volunteers from local youth groups, volunteer fire departments, local police forces, volunteer associations, and other non-profits donate their time to set up GOMR village, coordinate course checkpoints, and shuttle runners to and from the course. A portion of the proceeds go back to the various organizations represented.
“GOMR truly relies on the volunteers to run as smoothly as it does, so this is really a community effort,” says McCall. “We’re so thankful for our team of wonderful volunteers that comes out here and helps to make it happen. You can really feel the energy when you get so many people together all working towards the same goal. You feel that with the runners and you feel that with the volunteers. It’s all about community. And we’re just grateful to be able to do this every year and try to give something back to the community.”
For more information on the Get Outside Mountain Relay please visit getoutsidemountainrelay.com/ or contact Dan Arnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Get Outside Mountain Relay
Founded in 2017, the Get Outside Mountain Relay is an innovative team relay race that takes place in the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding Sparta, NC. Known as the GOMR, the race features a revolutionary hub and spoke model; instead of forcing runners to rent vans and drive a point-to-point race course as in traditional relays, the GOMR shuttles participants to and from exchange points along the course loop, allowing runners to focus on running. Facilitated by volunteers from local organizations, the GOMR gives back a portion of all proceeds to the community. For more information visit getoutsidemountainrelay.com/