SIOUX CITY (KTIV) – The world’s longest relay run began Friday morning right here in Sioux City.
Relay Iowa is a 339-mile relay run that lasts three days and two nights, beginning at the Sergeant Floyd Monument in Sioux City and ends in Dubuque.
Forty-two teams participated in the run to raise money for Restoring Hope International, an orphanage in South Africa.
Bill Raine, the founder of Relay Iowa, got the idea after completing a mission trip where he saw firsthand how much help the foundation needed.
Teams of 12 began lining up at 5 a.m. Friday to support this cause and many other Iowa charities.
“We had to get with the state, figure out what the best route is, the shortest route to cross the state, which is also a safe route across the state as well,” said Raine. “So we had to do some logistics with it, but yeah, because it was there, it seemed like a fun thing to do and we’re still trying to figure out if it was the right thing to do.”
When the event started 10 years ago, only four teams were involved.
Each team member will run three out of the 339 miles across the state, running day and night to raise awareness.
“We have people that come back year after year and they’ll run it once and then they’ll go off and start their own team, friends of their’s will join their team, then someone from that team will start a team,” said Greg Schrobilgen, Vice Chairman. “We’ve kind of have slowly grown year after year. We love to keep seeing the event get bigger and bigger.”
Relay Iowa is entirely run by volunteers.
This year there are runners from 20 different states as well as Africa participating.