Just nine teams raised over $40,000, according to chairman Leah Campbell.
"I am very proud of the teams who participated," Campbell said. "We raised more per capita this year, even though we had fewer people."
Recession and unemployment are not the only causes of reduced numbers, Campbell said.
"Life gets in the way," she explained, citing a variety of reasons for teams falling by the wayside.
Maybe they'll be back next year, when they hear how much fun everyone had this time.
One of the main creators of fun was disc jockey Blake Osborne, from Maury County.
"He does their Relay every year," Campbell said. "He does a very excellent job. He really understands Relay, and we got a lot of complements on him."
About 75 survivors walked the survivors' lap, Campbell said. This followed the presentation of the colors by Shane Petty, riding Elvis, and Chelsea Hastings singing the National Anthem.
"Give us one lap for those who have suffered from cancer," urged Osborne as team members, families and friends started walking around the track.
When it got dark, the luminaries were lit around the inside perimeter of the track, as well as the now traditional "Hope" spelled out in lights on the far side of the field east of the track.
The night was filled with a series of team activity hours, wrapping up this year's Relay for Life with "Purple Power Hour" from 5 to 6 a.m.
The best Relay in recent years was in 2008, when 22 teams raised more than $70,000. Last year, when the event moved to Rock Creek Park, there were 17 teams, and almost 100 survivors walked a lap.