The Cotswold Way Relay – read this if you want to be in a Team.

Cotswold Way Relay, Saturday 29 June 2019

The 2019 Cotswold Way Relay appears to be under new management: there’s a new website, and teams have been registered much earlier than in previous years.

Last year Thornbury Running Club had 4 teams, and I applied for 4 again this year. Sadly, they were oversubscribed and have limited it to three teams per club as they will not allow more than 100 teams to take part.

For those new to the Cotswold Way Relay; this is a team competition. Clubs enter teams of 10 runners, and each runner races one Stage of the 103-mile long Cotswold Way. The winning Team is the one with the fastest time when all the Stages are added together.

Each Stage has a mass start, so 100 runners start together and race to the end of their Stage. The first Stage, Chipping Camden to Stanway House has an early (7am) start, and Stage 2, Stanway House to Cleeve Hill starts at 8.15, which is around the time the first Stage 1 runners might finish. This progresses through the day until Stage 10, Cold Ashton to Bath which starts at 5.20pm.

Over the past few years Thornbury has fielded a very quick Men’s Veterans (Over 40) Team, led by Rob Watkins, and they are consistently in the top 3 Vet teams. We now also have a number of very good younger runners, male and female, and Nick Williams is going to try to lead this Mixed Team to victory. If all else fails, he will settle for a victory over our Vets team. Both Rob and Nick will be selecting the best runners for their teams.

The third Team will also be Mixed and will be led by Kevin Cundy. A mixed team must have at least 3 female runners: their age is immaterial. In addition, this third team will not be selected on grounds of speed or ability, but is open to any Club member. If you are interested, please contact either Mike Bennewitz (mikeben@blueyonder.co.uk) or myself (judy.mills@live.co.uk), giving us the Stage or Stages you would like to be considered-for – or alternatively any Stage you can’t do.

We need to know who is available by 5pm on Monday 29 April and then we will try to fit names to Stages as fairly as possible.

To help you see what you are signing-up for, the new website is at http://cotswoldwayrelay.co.uk/ To check any Stage, look under the Route Information tab; clicking on the Yellow dot; this will give the elevation and length of that Stage while the Blue numbered dots give you a map.

We are going to need reserve runners as well; it is agreed that if any of Rob or Nick’s Teams lose runners, they will draw the best runners from what is left. This also means that the more flexible you are, the better chance you have of getting a place.

Entry fees are paid by the Club and especially as the cost has gone up this year, I want to stress that agreeing to a Stage is a commitment and not something runners should drop in and out of as the whim takes them. Of course we all get illnesses and injuries, but if you ask for a place, you are expected to make sure you know where you have to be and when, andif you are unable to race your Stage, let your Captain know as soon as you can. In practice we share lifts as far as possible, and many runners try to recce the route beforehand.

If you have any questions, please ask Mike or me.

Judy Mills

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