The fifth annual Market to Market (M2M) Relay on Saturday, Oct. 13, is a 78-mile, 300-team relay race. The diverse course starts at Memorial Park in Midtown Omaha, winds through small towns and rural landscapes, and finishes in the Historic Haymarket of downtown Lincoln. Online registration at m2mrelay.com started May 8 at 8:01 a.m. and ends May 18 at 11:59 p.m.
This year, a new 50k solo ultra-marathon will be offered in addition to the M2M Relay. The course starts in Murdock, Neb., and ends in the Haymarket of downtown Lincoln. Online registration at m2m50k.com opens May 8. A limit of 325 entries will be accepted for this event.
M2M Relay teams can compete in one of several divisions, including Open, Women, Mixed, Corporate, Masters (at least 40-years-old), Mixed Masters, six-person team, Running Club (e.g., Lincoln Track Club, Capital Striders, etc.), Academic (affiliated with a school, college, university or other center of learning) and Armed Forces (e.g., Army, Navy, Air Force, etc.)
In 2011, 240 teams (nearly 2,000 runners) participated in M2M Relay. For 2012, the cap has been raised to 300 teams (2,400 runners).
The event has consistently sold out since 2008, requiring the M2M registration committee to initiate a lottery system to keep this year’s relay manageable. On May 19 M2M will randomly select 80 to 95 teams from the lottery to compete in the 2012 Market to Market Relay. The number of teams selected in the lottery will depend on the number of teams that accept their reserved spots (winning teams, sponsors teams, and volunteer teams). Teams not selected in the lottery will be placed on a waiting list.
Market to Market Relay has many volunteer opportunities for those wanting to share in the excitement of the race. Whether they are handing out race packets, directing runners, helping set up or teardown the course, or monitoring an exchange point, volunteers are vital to the success of Nebraska’s longest running event.
Since 2008, the Market to Market Relay has contributed more than $35,000 to Nebraska nonprofit and community-based organizations. The Great Plains Trails Network is the official Market to Market Relay community partner. The event has also supported Nebraska Trails Foundation, Arbor Day Foundation, Bellevue Kiwanis Club, YMCA, local high schools and more..
The M2M Relay strives to be of the most environmentally friendly running events in the country with its emphasis on trash removal from the race course, printing race materials on recycled paper and providing on-site recycling. Other activities include recycling running shoes and integrating environmental education into the race course itself. The result has been more than 1,500 pairs of shoes recycled, more than 200 pounds of trash removed from the race course each year and hundreds of pounds of plastic, cardboard and paper recycled before, during and after the relay.