By Bixyl Shuftan
On Saturday July 18 and Sunday July 19, the main event of the Relay for Life fundraising season, and one of the biggest yearly events in Second Life, took place: The Relay for Life in Second Life Walk. Also called the Relay Weekend, or just the Relay Walk, over a thousand avatars would set foot on the track and it's sims, almost forty of them.
The sim titled "Relay for Life" wasn't on the main track, but tucked away behind the RFL Activities sims. This was the landing place described in the Destination Guide on the secondlife.com website, as well as on the official and some third party viewers before the resident went online, when he or she was offered a choice on places to go to.
Tucked away inward from the main track from the RFL Advocacy and RFL Awareness sims were the four RFL Activities sims, numbered from 1 to 4, arranged in a square.
Normally the Relay track was closed to most residents aside from those in builders groups. But for the week before the big event, music and dance parties would be held in the Activities sims, in which all were welcome, Relayers and otherwise. "Club Relay" was one spot that had a few.
At 10AM SL time on July 18 were the Opening Ceremonies. They were held at the where the four Activities sims met. Yours truly showed up about ten minutes early, and already the places were packed with avatars.
Fuzzball Ortega, one of the Relay Committee members, in addition to being one of the Steelhead community's leaders, took a screenshot of the map during the opening. So many were crammed at the meeting point of the four activities sims, they couldn't all be registered. Many found the lag too much to hang around, due to crashes and slowness, and so listened to the ceremony broadcast via T1 Radio from their team camps.
Where the four sims met were the members of the Relay Committee.
Among the noted personalities at the track were Cuddly Waffle of team Strange Journeys
Holocluck Henley, unlike most, was resting on the ground.
Avatars of all kinds were around, such as this purple raptor
This guy was probably the only one with a case of "heartlessness" in this enthusiastic crowd.
Hal Jordon (Greenlantern Excelsior) was there, presumably doing a security detail in case of any griefers.
IshtarAngel Micheline, also known as Ishtarkiss, the official photographer of the Relay in Second Life.
Yours truly in his team Sunbeamer garb. I ended up grabbing a flag without a pole, which floated overhead.
After the words of encouragement in the Opening Ceremonies, those of us not already at the camps headed there, me to Team Sunbeamer's camp, on the north west corner of RFL Strength..For an in-depth look at the campsite beyond the front, click here to see more.
Across the road from us in the southwest was "Walking Tall for a Cure."
And to our east was "Knights of Avalon."
West of us in RFL Spirit, I didn't notice anyone at Team Fox Star's cancer research museum, but there was a crowd in the camp west of them: Seventh Legion MC. Because of the panning distance and all those avatars, the scene was slow to rezz.
And so, the Sunbeamers were all set to cheer those walking in the first lap, the Survivors Lap.
Some people took a while to rezz, even with the cam on them for a while.
Some stopped and paused. Maybe they knew I was taking pictures, or maybe they needed to stop a moment because of the lag.
Looks like someone forgot to take off their swimmer AO.
Gemma was among those taking part in the survivor's lap.
At 12:30, the Team Spirit lap began, and it was time for the Sunbeamers to march onto the track, showing our colors. Someone from Avalon gave us quite a welcome with a dove particle rezzer. Those grumbling about anything lag inducing probably felt they were instead being given the bird.
To keep an eye on our progress, we kept an eye on the map. Note: this image was taken a week before the Relay, so some areas are still incomplete on here.
Down the track we went.
The group reaches the American Cancer Society sim.
At RFL Survivor, the sky turned dark.
Approaching RFL Advocacy, there's a slight problem. To us, it appeared the sim had crashed.
But after a few minutes, the sim border was open once again, and we could once again be on our way
Further in Advocacy, the Sunbeamers paused to let those behind catch up.
Fuzzball Ortega, without "The Hair."
A look at the RFL Activities sims in the distance.
And into RFL Awareness.
Avariel Falcon, the Relay's black unicorn, trotting by.
In RFL Cure, passing the Giant Snail Relay camp.
Going past the Ryuku Torch Warrior's winter-themed camp.
making the turn at RFL Celebrate, the northeast corner of the track.
Media Row, where the camps of the radio streams covering the event were located.
One of the kites of the Purple Tears Team.
The camp of Gorean Whip Radio.
Another sim closed to further traffic temporarily.
In Beq Janus exhibit at the Designer sim RFL Give.
There were stars all around until the tunnel at the end.
At the "Pac Man Gives Hope" exhibit.
The United Federation Starfleet team's camp.
A Survivor still on the track alone.
Rounding the corner at RFL Hero, the southeast corner of the track. We were halfway around the path.
The "Dreamin' in Purple" team's camp.
Gray Nacht walking as part of his team, "Heart and Souls." But with that prop, is he "showboating" a little?
At the border of RFL Hero and RFL Hope, waiting for Hope to be cleared for entry.
Team Sci-Fi's camp.
The camp of the Purple Tears team, known for child avatars flying huge kites as they ran around the track.
The Team "Hoot for a Cure" camp.
The camp of the "Cure Chaser's" team, which had the Warner Brothers' "Road Runner" as a mascot (WB makes much less of a deal over use of their characters than Disney)
"Spirit Wolves Walkers" also had their camp in the south of RFL Hope.
An overhead view of the west side of RFL Hope as we wait for RFL Imagine to open for more traffic.
In Imagine was the Second Life Coast Guard team's camp.
The build of "Sail for Life," the Relay's team of boat fans. North of their camp was RFL Reflection, a water sim for boating fun.
A park made by the "Club 24" team.
In the RFL Inspire designer sim, was Xavian Starside's Tiny-themed exhibit.
Part of which was a "used spaceships" lot.
"Tiny Cylons?" Who would've thought that?
In RFL Journey, the camp of "Inspired Dreamwalkers."
Lominola Rehula's "Bid Me Snail" avatar challenge, which would be met.
The Dreamwalkers' art auction.
The "Lanterns for Life" campsite.
It was about this time that ir was 2PM SL time, ans so began the "Crazy Hats and Hair" lap. Fuzzball Ortega was certain to bring out "The Hair." So yours truly brought out, "The Hat."
"Aliens Love Ta-Tas Too" is the team whose name never fails to get a chuckle. Last year, their build turned out to be an inside view of the biggest breast ever built in Second Life.
This year, they had a circus theme behind this forest treeline.
The exhibit of "Relay Wizards for Spunky," DrFran Babcock's team, was in the southwest corner of Journey.
In RFL Imagine was the camp of the Tiny-themed "Aether Chrononauts Tiny Steps" team.
Waving his flag from there was noted Relayer Bain Finch.
The exhibit of the Fantasy Faire week-long event earlier this year.
The camp of the "E-Lemon-Ators" team.
"House of Giggleford," another team with a funny name, but a picturesque exhibit with all those trees.
The exhibit of the "Civil War Roleplayers" team, which avoided the controversy the Confederate flaga was getting in real life.
The camp in the southwest corner of RFL Knowledge had a few of the roleplayers present.
In RFL Life, the Relay Pranksters camp.
The exhibit of Team "Village of Horus."
The "Souls of Kindness" campsite.
"Team ONE Fight," had their camp there.
The "Goreans in Relay for Life" team at the SW corner of RFL Life, while not without controversy due to the adult-themed nature of the members' roleplay areas, has been one of the most successful teams.
"It isn't a Relay without the lag," a friend joked, and once again waiting for the next sim, RFL Manage, to open to traffic.
While waiting, I took a couple pictures of some ladies cheerleading.
And some cheerleaders came with tails, and petite sizes.
Apparently Fuzzball wasn't the only one with wild hair.
Speaking of Fuzzball, I thought this was he at first glance. It turned out to be someone else whom had gotten the monster hairdo.
Eventually, Manage managed to open, and so onward to Jaraziah Lowell's designer sim.
The place was a lush forest I would later spend fifteen to twety minutes exploring around in.
After some walking, I overcame the forest, and was in RFL Overcome.
At the southwest corner, the "Dr. Who Fans of SL" team's camp.
To the southeast was Team Shadow's area.
Team "Too Tough to Die" appropriately enough had a Wild West town as it's build.
The park area of "L Artist Group Dancing for Life."
The exhibit of the "Second Life Cheerleading Squad" was unique, one big pinball machine.
And onto RFL Pledge, and the first of Luna Barak's designer sims.
Pledge and RFL Prevention held one HUGE two sim build, a white dragon.
Beryl Strifeclaw (Gager), runs the track with his Cheetah award for running over 20 laps last year as a hat ornament.
Getting into the RFL Relay sim was "Two Moon Paradise Dreamers" futuristic-looking camp.
The "Touched by Angels" team's camp.
Team "Fly for Life" had a hangar and airfield with several planes, including a Wright Flyer.
This picture of the "RFL Butterfly Strong" team's build might be a little tricky in judging it's size. Look at the luminaria, kiosk, and sign on the ground here compared to other camps.
Entering RFL Remmission, at the southeast corner was Team "Dr. Who Fans" camp.
In the southwest was the campsite of "Team Live Wire."
Team "Ocean Pointe for Life" had a "Wonderland" themed exhibit.
The campsite of Team "Fairies of Hope and the Cure" was certainly one a fairy could feel at home in.
The RFL Research designer sim had a whimsical breakfast-themed build over three-fourths of the place by Lemondrop Serendipity. It was about this time I was joined by my teammate Shadow, whom stuck with me as I took pictures.
Four of the five cereal boxes shown had been slightly changed, three for Second Life humor, such as "Cap'n Crash." The "Wheaties" box had a picture of whom was supposed to be Caitlyn Jenner.
"Cleanup on Aisle Three," probably the only time I saw a build extend onto the track itself.
The southeast corner of the designer sim had a build from artist Photon Pink.
In RFL Screening, the "Holy Walkamolies" team had a forested campsite in the southwest corner.
Team "Heart and Souls" in the southwest corner had a Halloween-themed exhibit, "Tricks and Treatments."
And ran into their team captain Holocluck Henley there, "Arrrrrr."
The camp building of the "Relay Rockers" team.
Around the track were a few of these purple couches people could stop and chat on.
It was the hour people were dressing up for Halloween, this one from "Mork and Mindy."
"Hey! No peeking under my skirt!"
The forested campsite of Team "Quest for a Cure."
Finally I reached RFL Spirit, the sim just west of the one where my own camp was. Team "Assrox Fights for a Cute" had a playground at their camp in the southwest corner.
Another "tree-mendous" campsite in the southeast corner was held by those representing the "Home and Garden Expo" event earlier in the season.
This fellow was quite "Frank" as to what he wanted to be for Halloween.
The campsite of the "Melvile Steam Punks" team.
In the northwest corner of the sim was a designers plot by Kelvar Vendetta of team "OD Designs."
There were a few spacecraft from science-fiction shows there.
A better shot of the Seventh Legion MC's camp.
"Team Fox Star's" Cancer Research Library. Just a little more left to go ...
And so, back to RFL Strength, and the Sunbeamers camp. I had completed a lap. I would later be officially counted as having walked "2.33" laps.
And with end of my first lap marks the end of this article. If you want to see more pictures of this year's walk, we may show more if we get enough requests. In the meantime, you can see more on the Relay for Life in Second Life's Flickr page, or those of individual Relayers, such as Wildstar Beaumont or Ishtarkiss.
"Until there's a cure."