When Diane Golden decided to do something fun with her friends, she didn’t throw a party, she put on a race. And she thought Dallas would like a relay.

“I’ve been running relays for 10 years,” Golden says. “It’s the only thing you can do with your friends and running.”

Many relay races have cult followings, Golden says. Teams travel across the country sporting witty names, donning unconventional costumes, and decorating cars.

“They just do it to be goofy,” Golden says.

Golden says she hopes the Rock ’N Relay will develop into the same type of race. Her team is called Texas Road Kill. They wear black velour jackets with emblems of the state of Texas and a dead armadillo.

“It’s not about the run, it’s about the fun,” Golden says. “When you’re racing, when you pass someone, they become road kill.”

Texas Road Kill will not participate in the relay, however, because Golden recruited all her friends to help with the race.

Each team can have up to five runners, and the legs vary from three to six and a half miles. And, as a new feature this year, Rock ’N Relay is a green race. There is no paper registration; it’s all online at rocknrelay.com.

Also, the race shirts are made out of a tech material that includes bamboo. Instead of a medal, each person who crosses the finish line will receive a sapling to plant. And recycling bins will collect old running shoes.

The green theme is attractive to some people, Golden says. Many runners enjoy the outdoors and to her it seemed logical for a race to support that interest.

Michael Melder, who is on the race committee, ran Rock ’N Relay last year and plans to run it again this month.

“There aren’t many relays in Dallas,” Melder says. “It’s just a good time. You get to go out there with you friends and run it together.”

The 21-mile relay race begins at Winfrey Point and makes two long loops around White Rock Lake. Live bands will play music through out the race route, and prizes will be given for the best team name, the best-decorated car and the best costume.

Don’t look for the fun to end at the finish line. The neighborhood Beatles cover band, A Hard Night’s Day, will be on-hand playing music. There will also be drinks and food.

“I don’t know if people realize how fun these are,” Golden says. “I’m hoping this will catch on and be a longtime tradition.”

Rock ’n Relay
when/ Sunday, Sept. 30, 8 a.m.
where/ Starts at Winfrey Point
cost/ $25 a person until Sept. 8; $30 until Sept. 29; $40 on race day
to register/rocknrelay.com; see website for walk-in registration dates and locations