By Scott Oxarart, Reno Gazette-Journal, June 1, 2012

There will be “The Sole Sisters,” “Flying Hubcaps,” “Dirty Britches,” “Couch Potatoes” and “Cupcake Pirates.”

Add in “9 Venetian Skunks,” a “Herd Of Turtles,” “Road Slugs,” and some “Rusty Bumper Lickers” and you’ve got yourself a 178-mile relay race.

The Reno-Tahoe Odyssey relay race, now in its eighth year, has more teams than ever, at 249. That means even more clever, foolish and funny team names.

“We have a lot of teams who put a lot of energy into their team names,” race director Eric Lerude said.

“Some go for humor, some go for history. It’s just one element that makes it so much fun. I just love to read the team names. You can just see the type of enthusiasm that is going to show.”

Lerude said every year there’s always a new name. He said that when the names were posted, many reached out to tell him how they laughed out loud when reading them.

Lerude also said one captain called him and asked to change their name to “Naughty Nurses.”

“I said, ‘Of course you can change your name to ‘Naughty Nurses,'” Lerude said. “So I’m expecting some naughty nurses. It amuses the rest of the runners.”

Lerude makes the final call on team names, and said he’s pretty lenient. He has no written rules or restrictions. However, if he doesn’t feel comfortable announcing a team’s name over the PA system at the finish line in front of families, he’ll ask for a change.

Some teams push the envelope, flirting with inappropriate humor.

The “Thong Distance Runners” out of Sparks made the list – the thinking was that at least “thong distance” rhymes with “long distance.”

“Granny Panties/Tightie Whities” from Henderson also works, as does “The Double D’s,” “Bare Minimum,” and “Booty Chasers.” A few, however, were not fit for print.

And then there are some teams that perhaps didn’t know they signed up for a grueling relay race that tests mental and physical strength.

“This Isn’t The Santa Crawl?,” “Which Way To The Beer Garden” and “We Thought They Said RUM!,” all from Reno, seem to be confusing cruising with boozing.

But they do have one thing right – the event is about having fun.

Back to In the News »