"They love that," said Quinn, who got the idea from texting with her children. "They can say 'WTF' without the bad word attached to it."
The Ragnar Relay, now in its third year, invites teams to compete in both fitness and weirdness. In addition to honoring the top finishers, the event offers prizes for best costumes, best-decorated vehicle, best team name and other categories.
"It definitely is an identity theme," said spokeswoman Christi Phillips. "People really take advantage of that, especially with decorating their vans and everything. It makes it more fun because it is such a strenuous event."
The first two years of the race, Phillips said, runners competed in Viking helmets, kilts and superhero costumes, among other things. Still, she had no trouble naming her favorite.
"My favorite one was the one where they were running in their underwear," she said. "That was a classic that kind of stands out."
For all its frivolity, though, the Ragnar Relay has a serious mission. The event raises funds for a charity each year, and Friday's race will benefit Team in Training, a sports charity that supports the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
The relay invites 12-member teams to run a course that begins in Huntington Beach and winds through the mountains and down the coast before finishing in Coronado. According to Phillips, this year's competition will include 157 Huntington Beach residents, plus 14 from Fountain Valley, 59 from Costa Mesa, 28 from Irvine, 63 from Newport Beach and 11 from Laguna Beach.
One member of each team runs at a time, with the others riding along in vans. The entire race is expected to take slightly over 24 hours, but Paul Fetters, a member of the Training Spot's team, said most runners would spend their off-hours cheering rather than napping.
"Most people don't sleep in between," he said. "They want the excitement of cheering for their teammates."
If You Go
What: Ragnar Relay Southern California
Where: Huntington City Beach, 22 Huntington St.
When: Teams take off between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. Friday
Cost: Free for spectators (registration has closed)