By Dr. Jack Daniels
When I was in college I used to fire on our ROTC Rifle Team and all of our competitions were “postal,” which means we just shot once for score each week on our home range and sent results by mail to all the other university teams that competed. We could practice as much as we desired, and just had to tell the range director when we were going to shoot for score, and those scores (prone, sitting, kneeling, standing) counted for that week, regardless of how well they went.
When I coached at Oklahoma City University, I used to put on an annual cross-country relay for the high school teams around the state of Oklahoma. On a 3-mile course, the first runner on each team ran 1-mile and handed off to the second runner, who ran 1.5 miles and then, a third runner ran a half mile, which brought the teams back to the start of the 3-mile course. The 4th runners ran the same first mile as did run their first runners, and the 5th runners ran the final 2 miles (which was what the #2 and #3 runners ran on the first 3-mile trip around).
Total times were recorded at each hand off so individual times could be calculated for each runner over each leg of the race. Any of the schools participating could enter as many 5-person teams as they desired, and a great team might even come in first and second in the overall race. We also gave awards for top three teams and for top three runners in each of the different legs of the race. There could be individual winners on slower teams.
I have thought that we might be able to have “postal” or virtual competitions for runners around the country (or world) that would be able to race without being in contact with other runners during these difficult times. To eliminate the varying difficulty of different XC courses we could have all runners run on a track.
Five Person Relay, 9600 Meters Total
- #1 goes 4 laps (1600m) and hands off to
- #2 goes 6-laps (2400m)
- #3 goes 2 laps (800m)
- #4 goes 4 laps (1600m)
- #5 goes 8-laps (3200m)
At each exchange, incoming and outgoing runners just touch elbows and don’t carry exchange batons. Total times along the way, for each team, are recorded at each elbow touch and individual times for each leg can be calculated using the total time.
If you’d like to help organize a virtual cross country relay race email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.