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Parish relay race builds community

More than 300 runners and volunteers from six Omaha parishes gathered at Mary Our Queen Parish Aug. 19 for the third annual Parish 2 Parish Relay Race – seven times the number that gathered in the inaugural event.

It’s a great opportunity for the parishes to come together in prayer, community and fun, said Dave Mills, a member of the Men’s Club at Mary Our Queen, which founded the relay and competed against St. Wenceslaus in 2014. Joining those parishes this year were teams from St. Vincent de Paul, St. Stephen the Martyr, St. Robert Bellarmine and Christ the King parishes.

"A lot of us grew up as Catholic school kids, so it’s great to see people you haven’t seen in a while," Mills said.

Each leg of the 19-mile relay was timed, and for the third straight year St. Wenceslaus, with 15 teams of six people each, had the best overall time and took home the traveling cup.

One of St. Vincent de Paul Parish’s 12 teams had the best time of any squad and received medals.

But community, not competition, is stressed, Mills said. All runners finish before a new leg is started, and there are stops at V.J. and Angela Skutt Catholic High School, St. Stephen the Martyr, St. Wenceslaus and St. Robert Bellarmine.

The relay ends at Mary Our Queen with a post-race tailgate party.

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