5,000 Runners Hit the Road for Miami-to-Key West Relay Race

2-day overnight fun run through the Keys begins

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    NEWSLETTERS

    More than 5,000 runners hit the road before dawn Friday to take part in a 200-mile relay race from Miami to Key West. Participants discuss what brought them there for the race. (Published Friday, Jan 4, 2013)

    More than 5,000 runners hit the road before dawn Friday to take part in a 200-mile relay race from Miami to Key West.

    The two-day race kicked off at 5:30 a.m. in Key Biscayne and will feature some 500 teams running overnight through the Keys.

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    "Our friends say we're crazy," said George Mora, a runner from St. Petersburg. "You're sleep deprived, you're food deprived."

    The race is part of the Ragnar Relay Series, which allows teams of 6-12 elite and novice runners to sport costumes and hit the open road in races across the country.

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    Ragnar officials say 51 percent of this year's runners are from Florida, with other participants coming from as far away as London, Canada and the Virgin Islands. Runners range from 12 to 80 years old.

    Runner Amanda Rocco came from St. Louis to participate and said she lost 90 pounds preparing for the race. She said she'll rely on water and Red Bull to get her through the race, and that a new addition to the family has her ready for the long hours.

    "We have a one year old baby so we're used to no sleep at this point," Rocco said.

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