The chasquis carried messages knotted onto the string quipus which contained official records and other information along roads cut through the Andes Mountains, running at full speed for nine miles or more
. They kept going for around 2.4 miles per hour at a stretch between one tampu (post station) and the next, which meant they had to keep up top speed for as long as fifteen minutes.
On reaching the tampu, the chasqui handed over his message to another courier who ran with it in his turn to the next tampu. Through this relay system, the chasquis could cover tremendous distances in a relatively short time. A message could be taken as far as 250 miles in a single day and would reach Cuzco, the Inca capital, from Quito (Ecuador) a distance of 1,250 miles in only five days.