The 21st Green Belt Relay
20th - 21st May 2017
Starts Hampton Court, Saturday 8.30am
Ends in the Hawker Centre, Ham, Sunday at about 6pm
Entries for the 2017 race are now open.
We have increased the price a little (£1 per runner), we're looking to slightly increase the maximum field, and we'll introduce a few safety improvements (mainly STOP signs - more info to follow), but otherwise it will be similar to last year.
Looking forward to hearing from team captains soon!
GBR 2016 - the twentieth running of the Green Belt Relay
See here for an album of photos from the 2016 race.
2016 was our 20th edition. We had a fully sold-out field of 40 teams. The online results are here and are summarised in the following pdf, which includes leaderboards after each stage.
Summary: Great turnout, great racing, surprisingly great weather, better marking, and a great response from team captains on marshaling.
The winners were:
The Green Belt (1st overall) - Serpentine
The Pewter Plate (1st Ladies) - Serpentine Ladies
The Walking Stick (1st Vets) - Sandhurst
2nd - London Frontunners
Mixed - Thames Hare And Hounds
Corporate - British Airways
The Mark Critchlow award (Broken Record) - Cathy Ansell of Stock Exchange AC
Toilet Seat (last team to complete the course) - Pembroke Athletica
Wissahickon Trophy - Burgess Hill
And thanks to:
Permissions and course prep: Alan Mawdsley
Timekeepers: Pat & Alan Short, Bob & Jane Wheller, Roy Reeder & David Griffiths, Sue Waters & Carol Golsby, Andrew Wallace & Norma, Keith Haworth & Mike Mabin
Race adjudicator: David Clarke
Marshalling: Alan & Liz Pemberton, Jim & Merran Sell, Peter Wedderburn, Mark Pattinson, and all team captains
Marking: Malcolm & Helen Davies, Roy Reeder, Rob Peacock, Chrissie Glew, Rob Teer & The Thurrock Nomads
First aid: Sarah Boyle, Liz Sharma, Chrissie Glew, John Dixon, Conor, Liam, Elliot, ML
Results database and processing: Allan Barrie
Artwork: Evan Bond
Finish funnel: Paul Hutchings
Finish logistics: Pat Short
Race director: Peter and Alex Kennedy
Plus thanks to all the councils, parishes, pubs cricket clubs, National Trusts and so on who allow this all to happen.
Introducing the Green Belt Relay
The Green Belt Relay is an annual 22-stage running relay race around 220 miles of the Green Belt around the outside of London over a single weekend. The course mainly follow footpaths, towpaths or minor roads. It is organised by The Stragglers running club, has been going since 1995, and involves around 35-40 teams.
Runners form teams of 11 people, and each runner runs one stage each day.
Although the race is a relay, each stage starts at a fixed time. This allows each stage to be a competitive race in its own right, and also allows teams of all different standards to stay roughly together as they advance along the route.
When is it?
The next race will take place on the weekend of May 2017. The race starts at 8:30 on Saturday morning, going on to stop at around 7:30pm at the end of stage 11 in Blackmore in Essex. It resumes at 8am Sunday in Blackmore, and finishes at around 6:30pm Sunday. Exact start times for each stage are listed on the course details page.
Where does it go?
The course weaves its way around the villages, rivers and paths of London's green belt, starting at Hampton Court Palace and ending with a barbecue and prizegiving nearby at our club headquarters in Kingston. The course details page gives you everything you need to know about the course and stages - timings, maps, changeover details. Each stage averages about 10 miles, but difficulty levels and distances vary.
The route largely follows the Green Belt Way, a related long distance walking route. You'll find a wealth of background detail here - the race founder Sean Davis has walked every inch of the 220 miles and visited every church, castle, windmill, lockkeeper's cottage and perhaps even pub along the way, and you can enjoy his unique take on each stage as you go.
This is an unforgettable experience. Have a look at some of the testimonials, photos and reports from previous races to get a sense of what it's like.
Various prizes are also on offer, and there is quite intense competition for the honour of winning stages, setting stage records, and competing for the team events, ranging from the "Green Belt" (fastest team) to the much-coveted "Toilet Seat" awarded to the slowest team to compete the full course.
The race also raises money for various charities, both from individual teams and from surplus funds.
The race is open to anyone who can get 11 runners together to form a team, and is open to all standards of runner. We have a loyal following of running clubs, corporate teams, and charity teams, but one-off pub teams are just as welcome (one of whom, "The Sunday Night Shandies", won the event in 2003).