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The Speed Project: America’s crazy ultra relay you’ve never heard of

This unofficial event is in its third year with more teams (including many Canadians) flocking to the U.S. to test each other.

The Speed Project is a 340 mile (550K) relay from the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles to Las Vegas. It was first run in 2014 when six runners decided to see how quickly they could cover the distance.

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It was run for a second time in 2016 and featured several teams, one which set the current course record completing the 340 miles in 36 hours and 55 minutes (for an average pace of 6:30/mile or 4:02/K).¬†This year’s event, The Speed Project 3.0, will be the third edition and feature more teams than ever before. More than two dozen teams of six– including several Canadian-based teams and runners– will show up, pack into vans and make the journal from the Pacific coast to the Vegas strip.

The relay is non-stop and runs continuously until teams reach the finish–the “Welcome to Vegas” sign on the infamous Vegas strip. This means running day and night through some very rugged and challenging terrain. In theory, each runner covers one-sixth of the total distance — 56 miles or 91K — which they do by running roughly nine times, each of about 10K. Ultimately however, some run much more than others as injury, indigestion, fatigue and mental lapse sets in.

This year, Strava has gotten involved in the project and in addition to entering teams of their own, are supplying other teams and runners with GPS devices to track and analyze their progress in the race. Still very much considered a ‘fringe’ event with no official website, timing or results, you can follow the race on Instagram using the hashtag #thespeedproject




The Speed Project 3.0 kicks off Friday, March 10th at 5:00 a.m. local time from the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles.