Rules and Penalties
All teams are encouraged to watch for rule infractions by other teams. Self-policing of this event is the key to its success. Race officials will be located at exchange zones, recording teams that pass, and recording infractions. Teams will be issued Rule’s Violation Forms, which should be completed on the course and handed to the Chief Official at the next exchange zone.
Any team member (of a team in violation) may be informed, by a Relay Official, of a rules violation on the course. The informed team member will be asked to sign a Rules Violation Form, stating that their team has been notified at that time and will be asked to share the violation with the team captain. All violations and penalties will be finalized at the finish line. Team Captains must report to the Official’s Tent within 30 minutes of their team’s finish to be informed of any rules violations.
Team Captains must report to the Official’s Tent within 30 minutes of their team’s finish to be informed of any rules violations. Teams wishing to file protests must do so in writing within 30 minutes of their finish. To file a protest, submit the written allegation at the Protest Desk. Be specific and detailed. The Protest Committee will evaluate all incidents and their decision will be final.
Violations of the following rules will result in your team being immediately disqualified and unrecognized at the Finish. In addition, the team risks prohibition from future Blue Ridge Relay events and possible prosecution by local law enforcement, North Carolina Highway Patrol, Grayson Highlands State Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and National Park Service.
1. Grayson Highlands State Park Rules (see park office for complete details) 1. Upon entering Grayson Highlands, a $2 parking fee per vehicle applies. 2. All laws, rules, and regulations of Grayson Highlands State Park must be obeyed. A violation will
result in immediate disqualification from the Blue Ridge Relay, and may result in Park fines and
arrest. 3. Team Sign-in at the starting line will take place 15:00 prior to the start of your team’s wave, at the
Visitor’s Center, located 4 miles after passing through the Park entrance gate. 4. Park Rangers will be monitoring the Park roadways. Please respect their requests and
directions. 5. Porta-johns will be set in the gravel parking lot below the start line. Because this is a State Park
and has lots of forest, it is acceptable for animals to use the forest as a restroom. However, the supervising Ranger requests that all humans use the porta-johns. Use of the forest as a restroom will result in team disqualification.
6. Very important – obey park speed limit.
2. Blue Ridge Parkway Laws (this is a partial listing, see park office for complete details) 1. All laws, rules, and regulations of the Blue Ridge Parkway and National Park Service must be
obeyed at all times. A violation will result in immediate disqualification from the Blue Ridge Relay,
and may result in Park fines and arrest. 2. Support Vehicles are not permitted on the Blue Ridge Parkway. There is only one exception to
this rule, on Leg 35, Support Vehicles are permitted access to the Blue Ridge Parkway. 3. Runners must wear reflective vests, regardless of time of day, during their complete leg, if
running on the Parkway (Legs 11, 12, and 35). 4. Parkway speed limit is 45 miles per hour. 5. Roadside and overlook parking of Support Vehicles is not permitted. 6. Do not drink the water in streams and springs. Bacterial diseases can be contracted by drinking
untreated “wild” waters.
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3. Traffic Laws: Roads will remain open to normal traffic during the Blue Ridge Relay. As such, Blue Ridge Relay participants, support staff and vehicles, spectators, event staff, and everyone affiliated with the Blue Ridge Relay must obey traffic laws at all times. For the safety of everyone involved, respect all users of the roads. Violators of traffic laws will be reported to local law enforcement.
4. Public Nuisance Rule: Use trash containers and restroom facilities. Littering, urinating, or defecating by some means other than in appropriate facilities will not be tolerated. There are ample restrooms and/or portable toilets at exchange zones. Please plan accordingly. Problems with protection of the environment and private property along the course will jeopardize the future of this event.
5. Alcohol Consumption: The Blue Ridge Relay prohibits the consumption and presence of alcoholic beverages during the Relay by everyone involved with the Relay including runners, support staff, and spectators. A violation will result in immediate team disqualification, prohibition of all team members from future Blue Ridge Relay events, and notification of the violation to the proper authorities.
6. Reflective Vests: While running during nighttime stages, the following must be worn: reflective vest, one flashing light on front, one flashing light on back, and a lit flashlight/headlamp must be carried/worn. When out of the support vehicle, all team-members, support crew, and spectators must wear their vests during nighttime stages. The hours of the nighttime stages are 7:30PM through 7:30AM. Please note: each team member should have a reflective vest!
60 minute Penalties
A 60 minute penalty will be applied for the first reported violation. Team disqualification will be applied for the second violation on the team.
1. On Course Vehicles: Each team is limited to two vehicles, preferably vans, minivans, or SUVs (not to exceed 6’9″ wide by 20ft in length). NO MOTOR HOMES, LIMOUSINES, BUSES, OR TRAILERS. This applies to all exchange zones and transition zones. If you have doubts about the legality of your vehicle, you must have it checked at the start by a Race Director. If a violation occurs, the vehicle must depart from the racecourse/exchange zone immediately. It is a violation for a 15 passenger van to transport a rear cargo carrier.
2. Support Vehicles Signs: One official vehicle sign will be issued to each team vehicle and must be displayed on the dashboard.
3. Runner Rotation: All teams are to run their members in rotating legs and in the same sequence of rotation throughout the race. You may not shuffle the order or rotation after each runner has completed his/her first leg. No alternates may be used once your team has started. If a violation occurs, the team must return to its original sequence.
4. Exchange Zones: Runners must exchange at every exchange zone.
5. Companion Runners: Companion runners are permitted during the night legs (7:30pm – 7:30am). A companion runner must be a member of the team, must wear his/her number during the companion leg, must comply with all Rules, must complete all of his/her assigned legs, and must complete the entire leg as a companion runner. The companion runner must not assist the active runner in any way (provide fluids, carry active runner’s flashlight, etc…).
6. Runner Drop Outs: No runner may drop out of the race solely for the purpose of substituting a faster runner in their place. If a runner is drops out due to injury, they may not be reinstated into the team lineup. The team must finish with the remaining runners rotating in their current order. The order may not be shuffled. Relay Officials will be monitoring the team rotation. An injury report must be completed with the Relay Official at the next exchange zone.
If a runner drops out due to injury during a leg (that is, if it becomes impossible to walk to the next exchange point), only the next runner in rotation can take the Wrist Strap and continue, but only to the next exchange point. The next runner in rotation can only finish the unfinished portion of
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the previous leg and go no further. A handoff must occur at the next exchange point to the next runner (second runner ahead of the injured one) in rotation. No more than one substitution in one leg is allowed.
7. Navigation: Runners must know the cue sheet and map for their leg. If a wrong turn is made, the runner must return to the course on foot to the point on the course where the error occurred and resume the race. 18 inch x 24 inch directional signs are posted at all turns.
8. Run on the Left: Runners are to run along the left shoulder of the roadway at all times unless officially instructed otherwise, by a Relay Official or listed on the course map.
9. Race Officials: Relay staff and volunteers at Exchange Zones are considered Race Officials. Obey their instructions – you will be penalized for not obeying. There will be Parking Officials assigned to direct parking at each exchange zone. If you see an Official, you are to obey their parking instructions.
10. Shadowing: Vehicles cannot trail, follow, or shadow runners. Team vehicles may not stop along the course to provide support (food/drink). Runners are encouraged to carry water/fluids/fuel for the longer legs if necessary (refer to Rule 4, Public Nuisance Rule for disposal of empty containers, wrappers, etc…).
11. iPods: Strictly prohibited. Do not report to the Exchange Zone wearing an iPod.
12. Pets: Pets are not allowed on the racecourse or at the exchange zones at any time. 13. Bicycles: Bicycles are not permitted.
14. Quiet Zones: All Legs and Exchange Zones during the night hours will be designated as Quiet Zones. From 7:30pm until 7:30am, please respect our local families with no audible music outside the support vehicles and hushed, very hushed, conversations. Disqualification may result for the first team violation and will apply for a second violation.
30 Minute Penalties
A 30 minute penalty will be applied for the first reported violation. An additional, 60 minute penalty will be applied for the second reported violation. Team disqualification will be applied for the third team violation.
Race Numbers: Race numbers must be worn on the front at all times. Wrist Straps: Must be carried by the active runner at all times throughout the race.
One Vehicle at Exchange Areas: Only one team vehicle with proper identification will be allowed at an exchange zone (two vehicles are permitted in the transition zones). The second van must drive ahead to the next transition zone.
False time estimates
If your team’s position on the course is significantly ahead such that your team is out running our support infrastructure because you misrepresented or overestimated your 10K pace (i.e. projected a slower pace than you are actually capable of running), then we may, at our discretion hold your team at any designated Exchange Area until such time that our support network is in place. In addition, we will assess your team a minimum time penalty of 6 hours. In other words – please don’t sandbag.
If your team’s position on the course is significantly behind such that your team is falling behind our support infrastructure because you severely misrepresented or underestimated your 10K pace, your team requested a later start time due to travel logistics, and/or one or more of your team members become injured during the event, then we may at our discretion, ask your team to jump ahead to a Exchange Area of our designation. Your team’s finishing time will be prorated based on your on-course performance to
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that point in time. An additional time penalty may also be assessed.
The race course and finish line will close Saturday evening at 5:30 PM. Teams on the course who fall behind this closure time schedule will be asked to leave off their team members at the start of the last legs simultaneously. For safety reasons, we will not accept the entry of any team, which we anticipate to finish in over 34.5 hours (approximately a team average of 10 minutes per mile pace).
Rules and Penalties