It’s back! And we hope it will become a firm favourite in the WW calendar.

The Green Belt Relay is confirmed for the weekend of 18-19th May 2024.

Last year we entered a team of 11 runners to participate in this fantastic event organised by The Stragglers. It’s a very popular event, with over 50 teams competing last year. Given it was our first go at this event we were not sure what to expect, but all 11 of us had such an amazing time! It really is a special weekend and a very different way to get some running in. All teams had a massive breadth of runners join and it really is a race for everyone.

In summary, you get a weekend with friends or club mates, you need to run a leg of between 6-13 miles on the Saturday, and another on the Sunday – and you create memories for a lifetime. Last year we came 9th overall and were 6th Mixed team.

The race route covers the Greenbelt way which starts at Hampton Court and finishes in Kingston, and covers 220 miles of footpaths, towpaths and minor roads around the outside of London. You can see the full route map here – certainly places I had not even heard of, let alone had the opportunity to run in.

Each relay team is made up 11 runners who each cover one stage of the course on each day of the race. So you will run one stage on Saturday and one on Sunday. Stages range from 6 miles to 13.5 miles and have a difficulty rating from 1-10 (depending on hills and length). There is a fixed start time for each leg so the runners for each leg start together and you don’t end up strung out too far apart like a traditional relay. The time to complete each leg is added together to get your teams final time. The earliest stage starts at 8am and the last stage of the day finishes at 20:08.

The way we organised ourselves last year was to all spend the day in the car running our stages when we got to them but also ferrying runners to and from their stages – vehicles leapfrogging certain stages to get ahead of ourselves. We spent the night in a Travelodge (which will be at your own expense – maybe £70-£100 for the night).

Alternatively if you are unable to commit an entire two days to this event then some of the legs are accessible by public transport and you can arrive and depart on your own steam. This is trickier and adds to the logistical planning, but we did manage to accommodate it for those needing to be home overnight. Ideally we will need commitment for the entire weekend plus the overnight. Just let us know if you can’t spend the time overnight and we can help facilitate that, if possible.

Teamwork: Runners are encouraged to spend the weekend supporting their team round the course. There is a Captain for each team who is prepared to organise more of the logistics with the club coordinator for this event. Phil and Richard will help manage this and we have a tested method for this, so all we need is to appoint a team captain.

Abilities: This event is open to all abilities. We can enter male, female and mixed teams, and a veterans team (V40 for men and V35 for women). Each stage has a difficulty rating and a cut off time.

Marshalling: By entering a team we also commit to marshalling part of the event as well, therefore if you want to run for the club in this race you will also need to commit to giving up some time over the course of the weekend to marshalling some of the race also. This is normally on your driving route, so easy to sneak in.

Navigation: Whilst not difficult there is some element of navigation to this event so you will need to be confident to follow a map to take part. You will need to put some time into preparing your route in advance so that you do not get lost. You can programme this into your Garmin, take a phone and print the map out. The route is marked out, so you aren’t doing solo navigation. None of our runners got lost last year.

Transport: If taking part you need to be prepared to help transport runners to or from stages as part of being involved. This might mean you will need to sit in a car for the day leapfrogging from stage to stage while you pick and drop runners off. You will of course get your chance to be dropped off and picked up to run.

Cost: Each team entered costs £308 which the club will pay, however you should only enter if you are certain you can commit to all that is required of this weekend event.

You can find out about the relays here The Race.htm

If you would like to participate in this event or have any questions then please email Richard Cohen – [email protected] – so we can gauge interest and enter the required number of teams. If you have a ready group of 11 who you would like to enter as a team with a willing team captain please let me know. It would be good if we confirm spots this year.