Monday, 18 May 2015

Five of the most epic unclaimed GB relay legs

To say the GB Relay covers some scenic routes is an understatement. Being a coastal relay, it takes in some of the most dramatic and stunning landscapes you'll get to gaze at on our little island. So to whet your appetite, we thought we'd do a quick round-up of the most epic relay legs still unclaimed (as of today, 18th May). Which means if you get in quick enough, it could be you running these routes: Loch Ness, the South West coastal path... take your pick.

Stage 126 Lochend to Drumnadrochit Lewiston MON 08/06 03:52 UNCLAIMED

A 14k bimble along the banks of Loch Ness to Drumnadrochit, as the Sun rises.

Claim it

Stage 187 Dumfries to Caerlaverock Castle THU 11/06 14:21 UNCLAIMED

Another 14k stage. This one's more of a mid-afternoon mosey, ending up at one of Scotland's finest medieval fortresses.

An absolute belter of a 10k trip, you pick up the baton in the iconic Welsh town with the really long name and run across the Menai Bridge to follow the Menai Strait towards Caernarfon.

Passing through the Cornish port of Looe, this gorgeous southwest coast stage will be challenging for a 12k but so worth it.

And finally, if you thought it couldn't get any better, how about this meander by St Michael's Mount? 11k to Marazion... where you could finish with some refreshments in the beer garden at the Fire Engine Inn.

Friday, 15 May 2015

Looking back: Blue sky moments

In the run up to this year's big event we're looking back at last year's relay and reliving some of our epic journeys. We continue with this post from Alison Cameron in Evanton, Scotland, who saved the day on more than one occasion... She tells some of the story behind the main photo we used for our blog - Ed.

Taking part in the GB Relay 2014 last year was great fun, I’d recommend it to anyone. It started off with myself taking on one stage, from the village where I live: Evanton – Invergordon on the 5th June. That initial signing up led on to what can only be called a mammoth running extravaganza, roping in my other half William to take on the stage before me from Culbokie to Evanton! Time passed and a fair few of the northerly stages were not filling up. So still having some contacts from when I took part in the Real Relay in 2012 and Barry the Baton’s Coasters Relay in 2010, I duly sent out quite a lot of emails to try and entice some more running chums into the cause, word spread and the stages started to fill.

However, there were still some gaps, so as it turned out William managed to persuade me that between the two of us we could bridge these gaps. That’s just what we did, taking up the slack between Helmsdale and Laidhay Croft in the wee small hours of the 6th June. It was very peaceful running at night in the summer and the weather was kind.

Our favourite stage was to follow the next day on the 7th June where we ran along an undulating single track road between Achfary and Fiag Bridge. The sun shone brightly as we took turns to carry the little black box on its journey. This is one of my favourite photos of our time in the relay:

This is the handover to me, in the pink, just past Achfary. The one below is just after I’ve handed it to Will several miles further along on the same stage:

Later the same day we took on another two stages, a little closer to home this time from Alness to Dingwall and then Dingwall to Contin, running it between the two of us, a few miles each, taking turns. The weather however gradually turned to rain for the last bits from Dingwall to Contin.

All said and done we had a great time, made some new friends, received some delicious cakes and slept like logs that night after three epic running days.

All photos published in this blog post are property of Alison Cameron/William MacLennan

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Relay Recorders!

Hello to all potential Relay Recorders!

If you're here, it might just be that you're one of the hundreds of runners already signed up to run a leg of the Great British Relay next month. If so, you're going to be taking part in an epic event linking up the running community all over mainland Britain. It's that story - the story of people coming together to achieve a common goal - that we want to tell... and you can help us.

We want to give runners on as many legs as possible the chance to share their relay experiences. It could be that you have a funny story about what happened to you when you went to recce your leg. It could be that you have a single photo that sums up your relay run. We don't mind if you want to write 50 words or 500. But get in touch as soon as possible so that we can get you set up to write your post.

Last year, we saw so many great posts from runners on the community Facebook page. Posts about people driving half-way across the country, begging their bosses to let them take days off work, running back-to-back stages in remotest Scotland, or diverting planned routes around incoming tides - just to make sure the baton got to the next handover point. Posts about needing a wee. Posts about the right way to hold the baton. Posts about being glued to the GPS tracker as it inched its way slowly across our screens. This year, The Relay Record is giving runners the opportunity to tell these stories to a wider audience. We also hope that this community blog will act as a lasting memento of what was achieved for everyone who took part.

So how will it work? All you'll need to do is log in, write your post and press publish, and we'll make sure everything reads in "running order". But we do need to keep things secure, so you'll need to contact us to get your log in sorted. Do it now by emailing with the subject line "New contributor". If you have a Google account, use the email address associated with that account and we can get you started straight away. If not, no worries, we'll explain.

And by the way, you don't need to know anything about blogging! :)

We have a couple of new posts coming up from last year's runners in the next week or so. Then, it's over to the 2015 team!

- Ed.