Run to the Sun is a unique, long distance relay that starts at Enchanted Rock State Park and ends in Austin, Texas. Teams of six to 10 runners trek an exhilarating 90 miles through the Texas Hill Country under the stars in the dark of night for a physically challenging and emotionally powerful experience.
The course is segmented into 15 legs ranging from 3 to 8 miles. The distances vary enough so that both beginner runners and seasoned distance runners can participate. In this one-of-a-kind fundraising run, the challenge is not only the distance. Runners are pushed physically and mentally as they face staying up all night and running, at times alone, in the dark. The relay is exhausting, demanding and even a bit intimidating – but the surreal experience for runners has resulted in teams coming back to participate every year. Run to the Sun serves as a rare bonding experience for friends, teams and co-workers as they support each other through the long night.
The event concludes with a 2K Fun Run and sunrise celebration. Participants gather together in the morning light to recognize the strength of those affected by Batten disease and the hope of a future where it no longer exists.
There are many ways for those interested to participate. We have opportunities for volunteers to coordinate the exciting exchange stations along the route. The exchange stations are points along the relay route where runners “pass the baton” and teams meet up with their runners. The stations provide restrooms, emergency communications and safety as well as encouragement and cheering for the runners. The stations are a place where participants and volunteers can connect and share in the excitement of what they are doing – think of each one as a mini-party and pep rally. There are only a few responsibilities, but there are unlimited ways to make it fun and special for your group and the runners along the course.
Additionally, we need supporters to volunteer and companies and friends to provide sponsorships to help underwrite the cost of the event.
Over the past four years, this event has raised over $1 million for Batten disease research. We are truly grateful for the runners, volunteers, sponsors and donors for their continuing support.
To get a better feel for the spirit of the event, please watch our video recap from 2014. The 5th Annual Run to the Sun Relay will take place April 11-12, 2015.