The Great Race returns to Wellington on Saturday for its 30th annual relay at Woods Park

Greg Williams
Wellington Daily News
Teams getting ready to get in the water in 2019 for The Great Race

This year’s event marks the 30th running of The Great Race – Slate Creek Relay, which combines human endurance, horsemanship, and motocross racing. The only race of its kind; teams will start and finish the 9.5-mile course in scenic Woods Park.                      

The starting gun will fire at 5 p.m., Saturday, July 31, launching the First Leg of the race, a 360-yard sprint, which is a distance of more than three and a half times the length of a football field.

This year, eight teams will compete for the coveted silver “The Depot Cup”. Comprised of 15 members, both men and women athletes over the age of 16, the combined team age must average 26 years or above.

“The first Great Race ran on hot 4th of July back in 1977,” said Jack Potucek, Race Master. “Over the years, teams have entered from surrounding communities and individual racers have come to compete from all over the country.”

The first runner of each team passes a railroad spike “baton”, to the second runner who races a three-quarter-mile distance, followed by a third runner that takes on a challenging Cross County course. Motocross, horse, and bicycle riders furiously compete in their allotted distances as the course loops back around.

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The next two runners will each travel their respective mile until they reach Slate creek where two-person canoe teams take the Tenth and Eleventh Legs. Another half-mile run and it’s up to the last team member to close the race in a final 360-yard sprint.

“This event is unique to Wellington and everyone is excited to see if one of this year’s teams will set a new race record,” said Valerie Earl, Executive Director, Wellington Area Chamber of Commerce. “The current record of 42:03 has stood since the 2012 Great Race.”