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What makes a good Club Relay?

Show Profile  Paul I Posted: 24 May 2010, 6:40 PM  
I've often wondered, especially after running in the Australian Relays last year where the greater numbers allowed for relays in your grade, what is the theory behind all the legs being 'orange'?
If it is to even out the teams etc doesn't that do the opposite, the fastest runners are almost always way in the lead. Surely if there were some nice tricky red legs then this would close the gap.
It was real tough in oz, completely different from ours.

Show Profile  onemanfanclub Posted: 25 May 2010, 8:24 PM  
the reason for orange legs was so "B" grade runners could also be involved, increasing the number of teams and I guess the ability of weaker clubs to actually field teams. But it seems to me that the few B runners who do come to nationals aren't really signing up for the relay often. Also it did raise the possibility of a club with fast runners with less orienteering experience to throw a cat among the pigeons, but how many clubs have actually attracted members from that demographic lately? (Liz Orchard and....??)

I think the concept was good but hasn't worked in reality. So I'd be one to support the reddening of the long relay, with some relaxing of the restrictions for the short relay, for the benefit of those few orange orienteers who would be effected.

Show Profile  rob.g Posted: 25 May 2010, 8:47 PM  
You are actually quite sensible Nick.

Coudn't agree more, redden up the relay standard.

Show Profile  darren Posted: 25 May 2010, 8:52 PM  
The long nationals relay this year was not orange and as a result was very cool. Orange has its place but not at the nationals and certainly not in the long relay. There should be an 'open' relay, with no stupid grade/gender combinations/restrictions, where a club enters teams of 3 runners that just go hard at it!

Show Profile  Paul I Posted: 25 May 2010, 10:13 PM  
there are so many possibilities; age/grade/gender combos, open relay, different size teams etc. it's probably a tough one to crack but with some ideas coming in our friend Nic might well be able enough to come up with a great plan. What i do know is that in Europe Relays are possibly more looked forward to than most other events, here they are usually fairly low on the agenda

Show Profile  pete s Posted: 25 May 2010, 10:24 PM  
I do like the way they run the relays in Oz - run in classes. If we ran relays by region, rather than clubs, then we could use the same format in NZ. Not many clubs are able to put together decent teams under the curent format, whereas if it were run by regions, we'd be sorted! (ish)

Show Profile  onemanfanclub Posted: 26 May 2010, 10:14 AM  
pete: agree that to have age class relays it would only work with regional teams not club teams, but otherwise disagree. First, how many opportunities do you get to run "for your club?" (I think this is part of what makes relays so big on the scandi-scene, though not sure how many people really care here). Second, you'd still only have 4-10 teams(depending in part on how broad the age classes were) in each race, personally I prefer the current many teams in one big race. Finally really disagree with "Not many clubs are able to put together decent teams under the curent format". True the relay has been dominated by NW and HB, but PAPO, Wellington, Counties, Auckland are always in with a chance, Rotorua, HV, Dunedin are strong at the moment (HV usually is, actually), Taranaki, RK & Nelson have their years... doesn't leave too msny other clubs. And look out for Taupo next year! (as in we might actually have A team for once ;-) )

Show Profile  pete s Posted: 26 May 2010, 1:53 PM  
I see your point Nic - but don't agree with some of what you say, esp the piece about the importance of running for your club - if it was that important then why isn't the super series run at a club level? It's not because it wouldn't work that way, in the same way the relay format doesn't work - yes, different clubs can be in with a chance, but only if they have a strong elite membership, which for many clubs goes up and down over time. Maybe the issue for me personally is that I don't often get to run in a team with a chance of being competitive, but thats more about my own skills and ability eh! :-) So on a selfish level, running in an age grouping can be more satisfying in terms of catering to my competitive needs, and which is why I have probably enjoyed the Oz relays more than the NZ ones - have had some great races over there in recent years running with team mates such as Hamish Goodwin, Jeff Greenwood, Rob Jessop, Bruce Peat, and have enjoyed running with people from other clubs.

Show Profile  Paul I Posted: 26 May 2010, 2:12 PM  
because I'm a libran which really sux sometimes I agree with both of you, does that mean we should have two decent relay events during the year; a club relay, and some form of graded relay.
I havn't had enough brain waves yet to think of a nice proposal for our very own (greatly adapted) jukola and tiomila.

Show Profile  pete s Posted: 26 May 2010, 3:04 PM  
And speak of the devil (on the subject of Relay's and team structures), Paul, I was going to ask you if you were on for the QB relay to make up a team??? If they change the rules and force us to conform to some odd age/gender/class combination, then I am very happy to run as a W70/12 or whatever is needed (will even where a skirt) - keen?

Show Profile  Michael Posted: 26 May 2010, 3:49 PM  
Back in the day, there was a family relay at the nationals. And there was dressing up:-)) But then someone invented that new age sprinting stuff...

Show Profile  HeadHoncho Posted: 26 May 2010, 4:58 PM  
Paul, heard of Katoa Po???



Show Profile  Ellmo1769 Posted: 26 May 2010, 7:32 PM  
I don't agree with your view that to win the national relays at the moment you need awesome Elites Pete (if that is what you are saying?). You need a hald decent one yes, but the Elite doesn't really win the relay they can only lose it. Jamie was beaten home this year by a number of JWOC representatives but he had an awesome 2nd and 3rd leg runner to do the business when it mattered.

Show Profile  pete s Posted: 26 May 2010, 7:47 PM  
I didn't say they needed to be awesome (whatever the defintion of that is), I just said they needed to be strong, and I'd definitely put Jamie into that category....I do agree with your point that the whole team makes the winning combination though, so good point there Aiden, but it would be hard to make a good team with a great 2 and 3rd leg runner, but weak 1st...

Show Profile  Paul I Posted: 26 May 2010, 9:30 PM  
Dear Pete, I'm going to have to decline you warm offer of a date at QB, it's not a brush off, any man would be lucky a have a guaranteed good time, but I already have a date for that evening with my wife, apparently we are going swing dancing, I think if i stood her down for another skirt there could be trouble

Show Profile  Paul I Posted: 27 May 2010, 11:07 AM  
I'd say if you took it to the people there would more than likely be more support for the status quo Club relays, the redder naseby courses did cause mayhem, excitement and plenty of close racing, it definately wasn't a runners course. But i think it could potentially be a bit more memorable if we could create more conflict and passion. It sounds a bit corney but we are supposidly tribal creatures, so could we set up club zones (tents etc), banners, war paint in club colours, and encourage banter between tribes ?

Maybe getting the right course length/difficulty/forking to create the best possible chance of clashing with other teams could be a good focus and discussion point.


In saying that Pete is right about the coolness of running against and within teams of your own grade or similarly ranked people.
One thought i had was a link into the super series where elites are already running for their regional team.
Could it work that you have elite teams of 3 or 4, some sort of m/w and 17-20 E mixed in (depending on numbers) for the top course
then further down we have a Red Relay, Orange, the Yellow, probably teams of 3 (maybe 2x2 if nos were small)?

The tough part would be fitting it in our calendar to get enough people along, so the nationals will always be the best time for the country as a whole.

Yes Honcho Katoa Po did slip my mind 'cause i was thinking about day relays. Katoa Po is a great concept and tradition as it is and Jim would have kittens if you dabbled with it. It did however produce greater numbers as i recall, when combined with the Taupo Waitangi Day event.


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