What? The River Relay is a baton relay run over five stages from Virginia Water to Kingston-upon-Thames, finishing at the Hawker Centre.
When? Sunday 3rd September 2017.
Who? Mixed teams of 5 people. You need at least one woman, the other can be a woman, a Veteran (over 40) but not more than 3 Senior Men.
Where? The stages range from 4.9 to 6.51 miles over friendly terrain (a total of 26.2 miles) so this is an excellent introduction to relay racing and runners of all standards are welcome.
Why? All proceeds from the race (after expenses) go to charity – please see below
Cost? Just £50 for a team of attached runners, (£60 unattached).
Results from all previous races are on http://www.stragglers.org/results/riverrelay/riverrelay.htm.
The race starts at 9:00 AM from Virginia Water, adjacent to the Wheatsheaf Hotel car park, Windsor Great Park, on the A30. It finishes at the Hawker Centre, Lower Ham Road, Kingston. This distance is approximately 26.2 miles.
A detailed PDF with maps and instructions for each stage is here:
The stages are summarised as follows:
|1||Virginia Water||Bishop's Gate||4.75||GU25 4QF||Start is by the side of Virginia Water lake, with parking in the Wheatsheaf Pub. Stage 1 is entirely inside Windsor Great Park. Please don't leave any mess.|
|2||Bishop's Gate||Staines Bridge||4.8||TW20 0XY||Start is inside the park near Bishop's Gate. Park outside the gate and walk in to the route. This stage follows public roads to the river, so please take care crossing.|
|3||Staines Bridge||Church Rd, Shepperton||6.53||TW18 4TA||Start is by the river near Market Square, downstream from Staines Bridge. The course follows the river to Shepperton then runs through Shepperton on some minor roads.|
|4||Church Rd, Shepperton||Hurst Park||4.93||TW17 9JS||Start is in a car park near Shepperton square (free parking for an hour), then heads over Walton Bridge to re-join the Thames Path|
|5||Hurst Park||Hawker Centre||5.2||KT8 1SU||
Start is on the towpath by a car park. This course follows the river the whole way, although crosses the river at Hampton Court - take care and use the crossings - and then back over at Kingston Bridge.
|(finish)||Hawker Centre||26.21||KT2 5BH||Finish is at Stragglers HQ, the Hawker Centre. Plentiful parking and refreshments.|
You can register your interest in entering a team in the relay now! Just send an e-mail to Peter Wedderburn
At the start of July an invitation to participate is sent to clubs. Those confirming that they want to enter teams are then sent a race entry form. (This bit of bureaucracy helps us as organisers know how many teams to expect and team captains to get their teams selected).
The closing date for payment for entries is the 30th August. Final team declarations however are not required till just before the start of the race. Any entries accepted after 30th August are at the organiser's discretion.
Charities and Prizes
Before the race each team is required to nominate a medical or handicap charity. The proceeds raised by the event are divided between the charities nominated by the first three teams. In addition there is a prize for the team most closely predicting their finishing time and two Tombola prizes drawn at random from those teams not winning one of the other prizes.
Throughout its history the River Relay has had one aim - to give the profits from the event to charities nominated by the competitors.
Following deductions for the Sweepstake, Tombola and memorial prizes money is allocated as follows:
Winning Team 50% of prize fund
Second Team 33%of prize fund
Third Team 17% of prize fund
Money is set aside for the Sweepstake Prize (for the club best predicting their finish time); four Tombola Prizes (drawn at random for teams not winning one of the other prizes) and MacMillan Nurses and Cancer Research. These two charities were selected in perpetuity to receive money from the River Relay following the death of Tim Adam (Stragglers) and Peter Allan (Staines Strollers).
Route Finding & Time Keeping
Each team will be responsible for route finding, getting their runners to and from stages and recording their running times. Running times must be submitted to the Race Director at the end of the race.
Each runner will be given a description of the route and a map. There will be MINIMAL marshalling en-route with the exception of changeover points. There will be random marshalling en-route to ensure fair play.
Each team will be responsible for getting their runners to and from the changeover points. Route guides for drivers will be supplied. All the race details including route descriptions, maps and team declaration forms will be sent out following the closing date.
Team make up and declarations
Each team should be made up as follows: you must have not more than 3 senior men, and you must have one lady. You can have as many ladies and vets as you like (so a team of all senior ladies, for example).
The final order of the runners must be stated on the Team Declaration. This will be sent with the race details. Final declarations must be made by 8:30 AM on the day of the race. The declaration should include the team's predicted finishing time which will be used for the sweepstake prize. No runner may run two stages for the same team. (Runners can run a separate leg for another team.)
Our record entry was 37 teams from 18 clubs in the competition and we encourage entries form corporate teams or just groups of friends! The fastest time was 2hrs 58mins 04secs. The slowest time was over 4hrs 30mins.
After the Race
The race finishes at the Straggler's base at Hawker Leisure in Kingston. As more and more teams enter the final stage of the race the changeover gets really busy and there's quite a buzz. Hawker Leisure has a bar and restaurant to keep you refreshed until the prize giving.