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Zilker Relays is going national

Pam LeBlanc

Editor’s note: This article was originally published August 19, 2013

Big news from the organizers of the Zilker Relays - the event is going national.

The four-person relay race has served as the unofficial kickoff of the fall running season in Austin for the past 11 years. This year, the hometown version is set for Aug. 30, the Friday of Labor Day weekend.

Best part about it? Maybe the fact that each leg is only 2.5 miles, on roads in and around beloved Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Road. Or maybe that it includes a post-race festival featuring food from Tacodeli, beer from Hops and Grain, and live music. Or that there’s a Kid’s Relay, too.

Paul Perrone, owner of the Genesis Agency, founded the race in 2002 with the help of a few friends. He has partnered with CooperWynn Events, a national race production company, to take the relays to other cities.

They think the grassroots easy-going vibe of the event will translate well to other places. That’s why they plan to stage Zilker Relays in Chicago, Milwaukee and Minneapolis before the end of 2013. And next year, they hope to stage between 10 and 15 races around the country. No specific dates have been announced.

Race organizers recently named Marathon High as the event’s charity partner in Austin. Around the country the event will partner with programs that support youth activity and running.

Registration for the Austin race is $45 per person for the relay ($20 for the Kid’s Relay); prices increase Aug. 23.

For more information on the Zilker Relays, go to