Baylor > Great Brazos Relay > Origin of the Great Brazos Relay
Origin of the Great Brazos Relay
The dream of a relay race that would span between Waco, Texas and College Station, Texas was the idea of Baylor faculty member, Paul Martens, Assistant Professor in Religion. Dr. Martens, who is originally from Canada, graduated with his PhD from the University of Notre Dame in 2005 and has been at Baylor since 2007. Besides teaching and focusing on his research interests of moral theology and Christian ethics, Paul is the advisor for the Baylor Triathlon Club and is also a very avid runner, racer and father.
Paul felt that a relay race that would be held on game day for the annual Baylor/Texas A&M football game and that would alternate race directions depending on game location would be a fun tradition for the Waco and College Station communities. Paul approached Dr. Dub Oliver, who was the Vice President of Student Life at the time who loved the idea. Dr. Oliver connected Paul Martens with Campus Recreation, and soon thereafter a small exploratory committee was formed.
For preparation purposes, a Baylor team was formed to participate in another relay race in order to gain first hand knowledge for planning what would soon become the "Great Brazos Relay". On October 24-25, 2008, the Baylor team participated in the Ragnar Relay. The 180-mile adventure began in San Antonio, wound north through the beautiful Hill Country passing through the southwestern towns of Comfort and Fredericksburg and ended up in Austin, the capital of Texas.
Each team had 12 members and each team member ran three legs, ranging between 3 and 8 miles and varying in difficulty. The Baylor team name was "I thought I was the Driver". The team consisted of Paul Martens, Andy Hogue, Mark Mastin, Jim Benninghof, Stuart Smith, Matthew Bates, Tiffany Hogue, Susan Klawetter, Kelli McMahan, Eric Robinson, Paul Mastin and Mike Tocyski.
Meet the Team
The runners of "I thought I was the Driver" had a fantastic experience. They caught the competitive spirit and ended up passing all teams that started in the two waves prior to them along with everyone with the same start time and were the first to cross the finish line. They won 4th place overall out of 38 teams and 2nd in the corporate division with a time of 24 hours, 10 minutes and 46 seconds, which is an average of 8:03 minutes per mile. To hear some reflections from relay participants and to hear about the benefits to be gained from race participation, click here. Soon after completing the Ragnar experience, a formal race committee was formed. The Great Brazos Relay committee for 2009 includes the following:
ThanksAdditional thanks are owed to Tom Hill and Diane Jee with Baylor Athletics for their assistance in the pre-race location and festivities. We further appreciate the assistance of Susan Evans for her web page support.
We would also like to thank the Vice President's office of the Division of Student Life at Baylor University and our new Vice President, Dr. Kevin Jackson, for his immediate interest and enthusiasm for the Great Brazos Relay. Each 2009 committee member should be commended for their personal contributions towards this event which fall outside the scope of their primary job responsibilities. The completion of the inaugural Great Brazos Relay will mark not only a successful and meaningful event for all race participants but will truly represent an across campus and across division effort which captures the collaborative, collegial and energetic spirit of Baylor University.