Feedback after the GBR 2003
“No description of the Green Belt Relay can be completed without a huge thank you to the Stragglers
Running Club for organizing the event. The work involved was prodigious, and the atmosphere was
positively supportive. The Wanderers were even treated with respect. It was a delight to see the English
running clubs running hard during the races but enjoying themselves so much immediately afterwards”
“A great race, well organised, and run in beautiful countryside with a great atmosphere”
“Yes, this was a terrific romp through the unexpectedly bucolic English countryside. If any
Wanderers ever get a chance to try this relay, it's great! The running is through field and pasture,
along foot paths, towpaths and country lanes, the views of parts of England most tourists never
see were a never ending stream of Kodak moments. And, it only rained a little, temperatures were
perfect, the running is excellent. You just have to be prepared for self sufficiency. And, I think
Crusher would want to make note of the occasional hilly portions of certain legs.
I can't speak for Simon, Crusher, or Rock, but now that the dust has settled, it was a lot of fun.”
“Once the dust settles here, I would like to send you a more complete thank you note for putting
together the Green Belt. It was a fantastic race and you and Lynda and the Stragglers do a monumental
job putting it together. You do a super job.” USA Runner
“I did not see the whole course, but what I did see was wonderful. Country
lanes, towpaths, forest trails, it was just a great course. To realize that
this is all within 20 miles of London is remarkable. Secondly, the spirit is
fantastic, and is what athletics should be.”
“Dear Ray: thanks so much for the photos and for all the help you provided
out on the course, and the photo of me was about the best action shot of me
ever taken. I just got back to Philadelphia. Once I recover tomorrow, I will
begin on our web page report and will notify you as soon as it is posted.
You Stragglers were great to us, and we loved the relay.
Sincerely, Dan Gordon”
“we really enjoy the weekend anyway so contributing a bit of effort just adds to the pleasure.
Bit of thanks is due to Tony Curme and Noel who put up the finish gantry. Made the end of the
relay just that bit more impressive. . .
As ever we had a great weekend. Thoroughly enjoyed it for some strange reason. If we are invited,
we will come again next year. James Long (and Family), Straggler
“…., we enjoyed ourselves. …… recommends the Wissahickon mob as being the most helpful
team in terms of checking in before each stage, telling us if they had any problem (although not
expecting us to solve it), not asking awkward questions at the wrong moment etc.”
Mike (& Kirsty ) Bangham, Straggler
“Congratulations on another great GBR! I had two fantastic runs, so good Sean, that you had better go and
remeasure the stages as I can't believe I ran so well!
I liked your search engine "quotes" in the race guide. I'm trying to think of one for you about the cuckoo* that
I heard so soon after the start at Enfield Lock. But I can't!
All the best for 2004” Mark Thomas, Straggler
“It is not just The Stragglers interaction but also the wealth of celebration of
and joy for, each competitor running. It really brings the best and occasionally
a temporary worst out in people. No one could say the event lacked anything for me
it is the complete article.
The route is stunning and made more so by the spring glory. The logistics difficult
but somehow for that, heightening the challenge. The race isn't just the run it is
so much more.
What you achieve is to do the impossible, but we know that that is not without
personal sacrifice. Gratitude hardly seems enough. I think if we use today's
parlance one would simply say RESPECT.”
Keith Howarth, Stragglers Club Captain
“Another great event,
As well organised as ever and the route marking was so good there is a danger of runners getting complacent if
we are not careful. . . . . .
I hope that there was no problem in Phyllis having a male pacemaker on Leg 15. I assumed that if it was o.k. for
Paula, then why not for the Stragglers' First Lady." Alan Pemberton, Straggler
“I think it was the best GBR yet. I know we often say it but it's true! The
feeling in the HC bar at the presentations was tremendous, especially the warmth
and gratitude that all the runners feel towards the two of you for the fantastic
work you put in.
I'm doing WCR in a month and I suspect it'll feel like an anti climax after this.
Get some sleep this week. Many thanks again for the fantastic effort.”
Andrew Lane, Chairman, Stragglers
“Well done, …... The marking out and marshalling on this leg was excellent. My only worry was that the local
Hash were also out and sometimes use sawdust! I went off route once, when I followed the advice of a small
boy on a bike, who was actually removing the signs.
A really excellent weekend again. Thanks very much.
Regards,” Jo Quantrill (Dulwich Runners)
“..My only worry was getting lost, (although the leg could not of been marked
any better) it was however a relieve to see Lynda and yourself with a mile to
go. The GBR has provided me with many moments of enjoyment (Straggs win in 96
and winning again with Poole in 98 were both memorable) however this was the
icing on the cake . . . ..
I know you have heard it all before, but on behalf of Ian(Poole AC) and myself
thanks for a great weekend,”
Mark Caldecourt, Poole Runner, Straggler & Sunday Night Shandy
“thanks for organising another brilliant weekend”
Ros Tabor, Dulwich Runners
“Many thanks for the kind thoughts. Mate we were gutted that our last runner pulled out half way
through with ankle problems. After going through all that hurt with just 8 runners (great challenge
for us all and we were really happy with how we went) it was a huge anti-climax to not finish. We
were at the prize-giving for a while but the combination of some very tired runners and
disappointment of not finishing saw us leave early.
The relay was fantastic. Everyone enjoyed it immensely and there was a lot of talk of how well
organised it was, and how much time must have gone into planning such an event. You and your
team should be very proud of what you've built.
From a foreigners perspective, some of the villages and canals etc that we got to see were just
great, especially down south around Surrey.”
Silver Fern Harrier (New Zealand) Captain
“Just a note to say thanks very much, once again, for a tremendous weekend. The organisation
and just about everything else about the relay was on a par with the favourable first impressions
of last year.
Please pass on our sincere thanks and appreciation to Lynda and all your team who made a
most memorable weekend.
Till next year ...” John Doherty, Brighton & Hove City AC
“Dear Sean and Lynda
as last year, many thanks to you and the Stragglers for a great weekend - it
is an experience/accomplishment not unlike running the marathon, especially for
those of us who are somewhat less talented as runners.In general, we found the
support greater this year and the marking clearer(for those of us who ran last
Other comments overheard:
Fantastic, Wow, its over, Amazing experience, Will I ever walk again?
How do the Stragglers do it?
Same time, same place, next year?
Thanks a million to all of you.” Ranelagh Harrier
“May I congratulate you and all of your helpful and cheerful team on such a
superbly organised event. It was even better than last year, if that's possible.
I was concerned about getting lost on Stage 4 but it was so well marked, I
didn't once have to refer to my map for directions.
Thank you for an excellent weekend.
Mike Rowland, Member of the undefeated (unvictorious?) Ranelagh Bloodhounds”
“I'd just like to say 'well done' to all who took part in the Greenbelt relay over the weekend; runners, organisers
& supporters. It was a brilliant event & well worth putting on the calendar for next year.”
Grange Farm Trotter
Thanks to everyone who came out and ran - I hope you enjoyed running in pastures new - and also to those
who came out and supported, discovering roads in parts of the south east they'd never even heard of!
David Cronk, Grange Farm Trotters
“The Green Belt Relay was some of the best running I have done in the south of England ,the views from the
top of the North Downs or should i say Ups was stunning. Well done to all that took part not only in running
but supporting as well.”
Chris H, Grange Farm Trotter
“….. I think that everyone has probably said everything there is to say about the GBR this weekend. I just
hope that people do realise the amount of work that goes into it. I do not know how you cope with it, I
organised 2 teams and ran and it was a logistical nightmare. I spent most of the weekend mainly driving,
supporting and a bit of running.
Feedback from West 4 is that everyone has already asked to be in next years teams. I know that some of
the legs are tinged with a little bit of danger, what else can you expect on an event of this size and complexity?
The risk assessment itself must have taken weeks to do! For what? I printed off a copy and gave both my
teams a letter explaining the event and that they should ask me for a look at the risk assessment, not one did!
But you have done your bit in that respect.
This year the course, I ran legs 9 and 12, was so well marked that I didn’t need to look at my map at all.
I can say no more than this year’s event has given you so much to live up to, an absolutely brilliant weekend.”
Tony Hopkins, West 4 Harriers
“Many thanks on behalf of the TGT team for all your efforts in putting on a
superbly organised relay -a logistical nightmare brilliantly executed.”
Andy Colbert, Thrift Green Trotters
Sean, I absolutely agree with all the sentiments expressed here, and would
like to add that I find that that sort of spirit of the race has permeated
all of the Stragglers' races that I have ever taken part in......
A big thanks to Lynda yourself and all the Stragglers
Beverley Ali, Ranelagh
“Shandy Drinkers should be handicapped to double whiskies only!
Leg 14 is too tough for Day 2 (not from me) - personally I ran it and enjoyed it, though the route
between 6 and 8 miles (from 100 metres above sea level to 210 metres then down to 130 metres)
was invented by a sadistic bastard!”
Barry Dabrowski, Dulwich Runners Team Captain
“Thanks again for all you did with the GBR. West 4 had a great time
everyone was so full of it at the end of the weekend that they expressed
a feeling of loss once it was all over.
Offer stands to assist / accompany you on any recces for changes to
Be glad to attend a feedback meeting in due course.”
Mark Critchlow, West 4 Harrier
“We do love the Green Belt Relay weekend, and, although there is security in
doing the same legs as previous years, I enjoyed seeing a new section this year,
and will try to do at least one new leg next time as well, although I am not
quite ready to give up leg 5.....
I quite often think that I wished I had time (although some would say that I
did........) to stop and explore along the route. English countryside is
reknown for its beauty, but most don't associate that with areas as close to
London as those we ran through.”