Saturday: A Somerville Marathon in 26 Pieces

The Somerville Road Runners 26x1 Mile Club Challenge Relay will include a team from Back On My Feet, which transforms homeless people's lives through running.

This is my kind of marathon—the kind where you only have to run a mile, there are no road closures and someone brings pizza.

Sponsored by Somerville Road Runners and taking place at the track Saturday morning, it's called the 26x1 Mile Club Challenge Relay.

Almost 400 runners from around Massachusetts are participating, and it works like this:

There are 15 relay teams composed of running-club members from places like Lowell, Cambridge, Framingham, Somerville and elsewhere.

Each team has 26 members. The first runner on each team will run 595 meters. Then, each person will run 1600 meters, passing the baton off to a teammate at the end of each leg. In the end, it will add up to a marathon.

Somerville Road Runners have donated their team's entry costs to let Back On My Feet field a team. Back On My Feet is an organization that works with homeless people, helping them gain self confidence and transform their lives through running.

The relay marathon takes place at 8 a.m. Somerville Road Runners were the winning team last year, finishing with a time of 2:19:29, so they're defending their title.

A number of Somerville businesses are sponsoring the race. will provide trophies and medals; in Davis Square will provide pizza and in Ball Square will host an after party. Marathon Sports and PerfectFuel Chocolate are also participating.

More about the race here.

More about Back on My Feet here.


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