|A relay race is run by a team of competitors, each running one course and the result is based on the team's total time. Relays usually employ a mass start instead of a staggered start. To reduce competitors following each other, parallel courses are provided. For a team of three: three courses could be provided (a, b, c) with each of the team members running one course. Teams usually run the courses in different orders: e.g. abc, bca, cab. In the larger events these courses cross over and have a common control. Those courses can then be split into two parts e.g. a, b, c and x, y, z. Each team has to run all six parts but competitors run one of nine different combinations: ax, ay, az … cx, cy, cz”.