While running is usually an individual sport, teamwork will be the name of the game in the Redwood Forest this weekend.

On Saturday the Lake City Athletic Club is hosting the 40th annual Red Stag Redwoods Forest Running and Walking Relay.

The event headquarters and start and finish line are on Long Mile Rd, off Tarawera Rd, adjacent to the Redwoods Visitors Centre and I-Site.

There are two distances on the programme – the open section comprises five-person teams with each team member running a 5km lap. The grades being contested in the open section are men's, women's, and masters (men and women aged 35+). There are also corporate and composite teams.

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There is a two-person walking event in which each team member does a lap of the same 5km course as the open section teams.

Covering a shorter lap are the four-person teams made up of youth athletes aged from 11-19. Each team member runs an about 3400m lap.

As well as club teams, teams representing secondary schools contest this section. The 5000m participants set off at 10am, followed two minutes later by the youth teams.

The course for all events will run in an anti-clockwise direction, entering the Redwood Memorial Grove top (Waitawa) track at the bottom of Nursery Rd hill.

At the Rifle Range Rd junction they come down Rifle Range Rd and through the old middle track between Rifle Range and the Pram Track to cross Long Mile Rd near the Tarawera Rd end.

The longer distance athletes then do a circuit in the Scion dog walking area to return along the Scion fence line to the finish/start on Long Mile Rd.

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Those running the shorter lap after completing the Redwood tracks will cross Long Mile Rd at the same place as the longer distance athletes, and then take a sharp left to head
back towards the finish/start.

The number of teams in the shorter event has increased with 17 teams entered as opposed to 14 last year.

Staunch supporters of the event New Plymouth Girls' High and Egmont Athletics return, while the only local secondary school participating is Rotorua Girls' High School, which has three teams taking part.

The two-person walking section has attracted 10 teams. The total number of teams registered is on a par with last year at about 60.

The event's principal sponsor of the event Red Stag Timber has entered six teams - five running and one walking team.

The event will finish at about 12.30pm, with the prizegiving adjacent to the Redwoods Visitors Centre and I-Site at about 1pm.