The alternative Olympic torch relay

Posted on June 7, 2012 by Chris Baynham-Hughes

Runcorn to Warrington, that classic trail of beauty… erm, wait a minute! What’s going on here, why on earth am I set to run from Runcorn to Warrington via Widnes tomorrow morning I hear you cry! Well it’s my leg for the Endurance Life ‘Real Relay’ – an opportunity to follow in the footstep and tyre tracks of the Olympic flame.

Not to take anything away from the incredible Olympic torch relay (which will see my Uncle Preston take up the honor in the coming weeks and has already seen Helsby Running club’s very own super hero Joe Beswick with torch in hand) but the guy at Endurance life felt that it was a bit of a cheat driving so many of the miles rather than taking them on by foot, so they decided to set up their own challenge to run the entire distance. The Real Relay was born!

Using social networks like Facebook and Twitter to crowdsource runners all over the country they have managed to get runners to take on the challenge and run between the route stops. Runners must follow the routes of the actual torch but where the torch got in a bus or a train they are allowed to make their own route choice.

I figured it was a bit of fun, a fantastic opportunity to get involved in my own way with the games, show my support for Team GB and to be a part of something I think is pretty darn cool.

After a minor panic that it was all going to fall apart before it got to me (there was no runner for the Northwich to Runcorn leg until later this afternoon) it has not only all come good, but a National Sunday Newspaper have caught wind of it and are sending a photographer to document the hand over between the previous chap and me! Yes I know, of all the places they could have picked Runcorn was the obvious first choice due to the incredible architecture… erm… anyway, I’m disturbingly chuffed about this and it will add an extra dimension to a good bit of fun.

I’m guessing putting 10 miles in, holding what looks like a lightsabre with a GPS tracker strapped to the handle, is not ideal preparation for the Welsh 1000m peaks race, but hey – it’s only going to come around once! Follow my progress at http://www.facebook.com/Endurancelife/app_382668701785970

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