the relay the relay runners course sponsors volunteers travel organs r us

online entry
The Champions, Google 1
Katie Grace from Mankato, MN
Shawn received a new heart



Kathy Groebner of Mankato, MN, Katie Grace's mom, 925.478.1977,
Trista Stockwell of Eagle River, AK, Shawn's mom, 907.317.6150,
Thomas Phillips, Captain, Google 1, 914.426.2055,
Jeff Shapiro, The Relay/Organs 'R' Us ("ORU"), 650.508.9700,

Athletes get set for 199 mile run during California's Longest Party! Runners will relay the message during America's largest organ donation event.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA April 15, 2009 - During The Relay on May 2-3, up to 3,000 runners will start from the Calistoga Beverage Company in scenic Napa Valley and travel 199 miles on teams of 12 to the Swanton Berry Farm in Davenport promoting the need for donated organs through Organs 'R' Us ("ORU"). The transfer of the baton from runner to runner symbolizes the transfer of an organ from donor to recipient.

"Welcome to Calistoga and thanks for supporting Organs 'R' Us," booms Nancy Fox over the loudspeaker. "I am an organ donor. I donated my heart to a 57 year old man." As mouths drop open in disbelief, Nancy continues. "You heard correctly. I am a heart donor, but we have a race to begin so you will hear the rest of my story at the finish." Nancy sounds the start gun.

Google covered 199 miles in 20 hours, 22 minutes in 2008. In 2009, Google 1 will attempt to be the first team to win The Relay three years in a row. After running 36 legs through 36 cities and across the Golden Gate Bridge at midnight under a full moon, runners will hit the beach where the winners will be 100,000 Americans waiting for organs.

Google will dedicate their runs six-year-old Katie Grace Groebner who will need a new heart and lungs and ten-year-old Shawn Stockwell of Eagle River, AK, who received a new heart on July 31, 2008. Katie Grace and Shawn will cheer teams across the finish.

Teams chasing Google and supporting 2500 children waiting for organs include former winner Blue Lightning (IBM), former winner Yaks (Applied Biosystems), Civil Unrest (MacKay & Somps), EY Road Runners (Earnst & Young), Slower Than Turtles, Faster Than DSL (Comcast), Feel the Beat Runners (UCSF Pediatric Heart Center), Florsheim, Mailmen (Axciom Digital), Genencor International, Run Deloitte Run (Deloitte & Touche), Seagate Xtreme Drives, Shell Team Outta Gas (Shell Oil Products US), Slow as Molasses (Juniper Networks), Triage Consulting and Yo...Taxi (Applied Materials). In the Law Enforcement division are 911 - We Run Code 3 (Catati PD), Catie and Annie's Cops (Vacaville PD, 4 teams), Gang Green (Environmental Protection Agency), Golden Gate (Golden Gate Bridge PD), Lifesavers (US Coast Guard), Remote Controlled (Air Force), Marin County Search & Rescue and fire departments from Contra Costa, Petaluma, Santa Clara and San Ramon.

After starting with nine teams in 1995, The Relay became the nation's second largest long distance relay in 1997 and has attracted more than 300 teams of 12 runners. The 199-mile course through 36 cities boasts the largest number of tourist destinations of any run. Running 3 legs of 3 to 8 miles, participants travel through Calistoga, Napa, Sonoma, Marin, Sausalito, across the Golden Gate Bridge at midnight under a full moon, through San Francisco and Silicon Valley to Santa Cruz.

The Relay is not about being the fastest. The Relay is about learning what it takes to be a winner and doing one's best for the team in a celebration of life and running. For corporate teams, The Relay reinforces values that employees need to create a winning company. While conquering as a team what few dare to face alone, runners work together to meet challenges and overcome hardships during the 24-hour adventure. Add the full moon, decorated vans, glow jewelry and "California's Longest Party" is "the most fun 24 feet can have…in the best place on earth."

Organs 'R' Us was founded in San Francisco in 1996 and supports 100,000 Americans waiting for organs by generating $25 million in publicity promoting the need for donors. Through running and walking, ORU members showcase their fitness proving that transplantation restores health. "In the long run, organ donation saves lives," says ORU coach Jeff Shapiro.

# # #

Visit Registered Teams to find participating teams. Visit Maps to view the course.