24th edition: 15th -16th May 2021
Green Belt Relay scheduled for the weekend of 16th
2020 was sadly cancelled, although many of our teams ran “virtual
GBRs” to mark the event.
We aim to hold our 24th race in 2021, on the weekend of 15-16 May.
Introducing the Green Belt Relay
Green Belt Relay is a not-for-profit annual running relay organised
by The Stragglers running club, and all surplus funds from the race
are donated to charity (most recently the Marie Curie charity).
The race is a 22-stage running relay 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.
The race takes place in May each year, starting at Hampton Court, Saturday 8.30am and ending in the Hawker Centre, Ham, Sunday at about 6pm. It is organised by The Stragglers running club, has been going since 1995, and involves around 50 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 race is each year around the third weekend of May. It starts at 8:30 on Saturday morning, going on to stop at around 7:30pm at the end of stage 11 in Blackmore, Essex. It resumes at 8am Sunday, 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.
Various prizes are 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 runners, although it’s a demanding race so please read the course details carefully.
The race is organised by The Stragglers Running Club - mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or comments. We rely on the kind help of hundreds of others, some of whom are listed here
Last Year’s Race
The 23rd Green Belt Relay took place on the weekend of 18-19th May 2019. The race had a record number of 52 teams. Thanks to all captains, runners, organisers, and the various parishes, pubs and cricket clubs who put up with us along the way.
2019 Team prizes are as follows:
Green Belt (overall winner): Thames Hare & Hounds
The Pewter Plate (first ladies team): Serpentine
The Davis Cup (first mens teams): Serpentine
The Lynda Shield (first mixed team): Thames Hare & Hounds
The Walking Stick (first veterans team): The Stragglers
The Toilet Seat: St Neots Riverside Runners
2nd place teams were:
2nd Ladies: Clapham Pioneers
2nd Men: Ranelagh Harriers
2nd vets: London Front Runners
2nd Mixed: London Front Runners