WDAY: The News Leader

Published June 15, 2012, 08:46 PM

Sisters bring "the mother of all relays" to North Dakota

Gwinner, ND (WDAY TV) -- Five sisters are bringing a version of what's called "the mother of all relays" out in Oregon, to North Dakota.

Gwinner, ND (WDAY TV) -- Five sisters are bringing a version of what's called "the mother of all relays" out in Oregon, to North Dakota.

Three of the sisters live in Fargo, and when they found out Sargent County's relay for life would be in their hometown of Gwinner this year, they decided to run home, literally.

These women put a spin on a typical relay for life event, trading in the trademark - track lined with luminaries for a pavement path that spans across southeastern North Dakota, organizing a relay that's longer than 3 marathons put together.

Paula Clarke is one of the Weller sisters "running home." The women weaved their way through the back roads from Fargo to Gwinner.... Battling intense heat on that pavement - to remember the first man in each of their lives.

Paula Clarke/Middle Weller sister: "i think he always wanted a son so the 5 of us grew up in athletics, we were very much like tom boys growing up in a small town."

JB Weller was diagnosed with Lung cancer in 1997, he died just 9 months later. Today this shrine is set up in Gwinner at the Relay for Life, this will be the final stop for JB's daughters.

Karla Warloch/Oldest Weller Sister: "he was pretty calm which was a good thing with 5 girls in the house we were always running around and always talking so he was kind of quiet."

Paula: "he could say a lot with very few words."

The sisters got today's idea from this event, it's called "hood to Coast," a grueling 197 mile relay held in Oregon each year. The name says it all you run from Mt. Hood to a place called seaside, nearly a 30 hour race. The JB-Weller team made up of the sisters and their families, was one of 1100 selected from a lottery last year to take part.

Paula: "they call it the mother of all relays."

Karla: "it was like 30 hours without sleep."

From 6 this morning to 6 tonight, the baton is passed from sister to sister and you see a family who exemplifies all of the good in that word- family. They do this to remember their father, but more so - give up their time and energy so another family maybe one day won't go through what they did.

It's 85 miles from Fargo to Gwinner. 9 people took part in today's relay, including 4 of the 5 sisters, their spouses and Karla's daughter.

That event in Gwinner raised more than 50-thousand dollars that will go toward finding a cure.