The upcoming Zilker Relays reminds us that fall is indeed coming.

Some have called it “the running of the tribes.” It may still be over 100 degrees outside, but the upcoming Zilker Relays reminds us that fall is indeed coming. Created by runner Paul Perrone 20 years ago, the event serves as the unofficial kickoff of the fall racing season in Austin. (Fun fact: Perrone broke four minutes in the mile in one of the last Congress Avenues Miles to be run.) Now organized by the Austin Runner’s Club and partnered with Marathon Kids, the event is set for 6:00 p.m. on the evening of Friday, September 8th .

In case you’ve never run it, it’s a 10-mile relay race in Zilker Park.  Teams are comprised of four runners, each running a 2.5-mile loop from one central festival/transition area. What makes the Zilker Relays special is the festival home base, drinks, music, prizes and above all the camaraderie. Drinks are by Real Ale Brewing Company, and dinner is by Taco Deli. Both are included with registration. Note: Family and friends can hang out and support their runners! The Real Ale beer is free to all and is NOT a condition of your entry. If friends/family would like to eat, they can purchase a meal ticket prior to the event. No onsite sales available for meal tickets.

The 2.5-mile course starts and finishes on the north side of Zilker Park (about 200 meters east of the volleyball courts). The post-race party starts right next to the finish line. (You can find shade under the trees and team tents.)

While many teams are highly competitive (last year’s overall men’s team winners comprised of four elite runners clocked 49:08—a 4:55 per mile pace— while the women’s team winners clocked 1:04:39), there are plenty of folks out there just having fun running, jogging or walking 2.5 miles. (See the full 2022 results here.)

The timed divisions offer plenty of options:

  • Open Men
  • Open Women
  • Open Co-Ed (at least 2 women per team)
  • Open Mixed (any combo of male /female /non-binary)
  • Masters Men (All male, 40+)
  • Masters Women (All female, 40+)
  • Masters Co-Ed ((at least 2 women per team – all participants 40+)
  • Masters Mixed (any combo of male /female /non-binary – all participants 40+)
  • Employee Related Group (Any business, company, organizations, volunteer groups, city/state/government entities, etc.)
  • Training Group, Club or Store
  • Just For Fun (NOT ELIGIBLE for awards)

So yeah, lots to love at the Zilker Relays. As founder Paul Perrone said, it’s known for the “best post-race party” in Texas.

Upcoming races: Saturday, August 26, the Camp Agape 10th Annual Memorial 5K at 8:00 a.m. at Johnson Park in Marble Falls. Saturday, August 26, Capt’n Karl’s Trail Series at Reveille Peak Ranch 60K, 30K, 20K, 10K, 5K trail runs. The event starts at 7:00 p.m. Saturday August 26, and ends 7:00 a.m. Sunday, August 27.