Cotswold Way Relays
We will have 5 teams this year. It's been decided to contest the mixed team category and in fact all our teams will be 'mixed teams' - we must have a minimum of 3 ladies in each team.
Mixed team A will be our most 'competitive team' - made up of all our fastest runners - we stand a good chance of winning this category.
The Cotswold Way is a 102 mile (164Km) long National Trail running between the market town of Chipping Campden and the city of Bath. For most of its length it follows the Cotswold escarpment giving wonderful views of the surrounding landscape and passing many unique landmarks on the way.
The Cotswold Way Relay is a team relay event organised by Team Bath AC. The event starts at Chipping Campden in the early morning and arrives at Bath Abbey in the early evening, and uses the waymarked route of the Cotswold Way as the run route. The relay is over 90% off-road, taking in many hills, woodlands, fields and tracks, all offering spectacular views of the countryside around (if ever a runner looked up from the path to take it in!).
The 102 miles is split into 10 stages, varying in ascent and length. This allows each team to field a group of runners with differing abilities and experiences.
In recent years the Cotswold Way Authority has considerably improved the signage on route, as part of its upgrade to National Trail status, but there's often one or two runners who speed past a sign to take time to appreciate some countryside off the main route. For this reason this it's a very good idea for each runner to familiarize themselves with their leg before the race. A 'recce' will enable you to run with confidence on the day without having to look too closely for the way markings.
The event operates as 10 back-to-back races, starting each stage with a mass start at the expected arrival time of the 1st runner from the previous stage. Teams member's times are accumulated to give an overall team time at the end of the day.
Chepstow Harriers hope to enter 5 teams (50 runners) in 2018 - 5 Mixed teams. The philosophy is that everyone who wants to run can get a place in one of the teams. As the day approaches, some runners get a slight injury or illness and may drop a team and that might mean that another runner gets to run in a quicker team. Any member can take part - new or longer standing, faster or slower, young or not so young.
In 2015 there were 99 teams overall (990 runners). Teams are mostly made up from Running Clubs in the South-West / Midlands region, many having a friendly rivalry to gain 1st place in certain categories. Almost Athletes from Cheltenham put in 10 teams last year. Our closest competing teams geographically are probably Forest of Dean and NGOC.
The following table shows the detail of each leg. The easier legs are 3, 7 and 9. The harder ones are 2, 4 and 8.
Here is a link to Team Bath AC's Cotswold Way Relay website: Cotswold Relays
Below is a spreadsheet detailing all members results over the years and also showing everyone's overall times so far:
Our club currently has six Kings of the Cotswolds - members who have raced in all ten of the Cotswold Legs: Dick Finch, Dave Andrews, Bill Savage, Paul Dodd, Geoff Bayliss and Gareth Jones.
James has put together all the Chepstow Harrier member's past results in one handy spreadsheet for your perusal:
There are a set of maps for each leg which can be viewed here (leg 3 has changed since these were produced): Maps for CWR