The Gulf Coast has historically hosted some of the world’s premier endurance sports events. Beaches, state parks, rolling country roads and year-round warm weather make the region one of the top fitness destinations worldwide. Now, GCI Relay will bring the Gulf Coast its very own multi-state, community relay, where cycling and running are team sports.
An Athlete’s Heart at Home on the Gulf Coast
In this event, you can be on a cycling team or a running team, not both. It’s run or ride. Athletes will travel along the coastal highways and byways of the Southeast. They will cross three state lines from New Orleans to Pensacola Beach; or, “NOLA to PCOLA,” as Race Director, Sarah Sadd says.
“I’ve lived on the Gulf Coast all my life and really love the water and the beach how the Southeast weather fits so well with the endurance sport lifestyle,” says Sadd. “After all the Gulf has been through been through in recent years, this race will be an excellent way to foster community in our region, showcase its beauty and show the country how resilient we are.”
Giving Back to the Gulf
GCI Relay has partnered with the Center for Biological Diversity to raise awareness and inspire action for their mission to secure a future for endangered species. The Center has many large projects for endangered Gulf of Mexico species. In order to save and rehabilitate a species from extinction, their natural environments must be fiercely protected. “I can really get behind the Center’s mission. By protecting Gulf wildlife, we encourage healthy coastal ecosystems, which means healthy fishing and tourism industries and a better quality of life for Gulf State residents,” said Sadd.
GCI Relay – A First in its Class
There are two reasons why GCI Relay is a pioneer in relays. This is the first relay event in the country where athletes can be on a cycling team or a running team. What’s more, confirmed as of February 7, 2013, the cycling portion will be the first cycling relay in the country to be sanctioned by USA Cycling. In fact, GCI Relay prompted the organization to create this new sanction to meet the growth of cycling relays in the United States.
The Start and Finish are notable features of this event. The race will start on Lakeshore Drive at the University of New Orleans Research and Technology Center, the same starting location as the New Orleans Ironman 70.3. The race finishes at the beautiful Pensacola Beach Pavilion, the finish line for the Santa Rosa Island Triathlon (SRITRI). The SRITRI is a triathlon founded by Race Director, Sarah Sadd’s grandmother, Ann Knight.
This unique event is sure to be one of the premier endurance events in the country for many years to come. It promotes a sense of community among the Gulf States and is guaranteed to deliver a fitness destination experience and a win for all involved.
Athletes and partners interested in learning more about GCI Relay can contact Sarah Sadd, GCI Relay Race Director at 813-417-9932 or visit: