On Sunday the hotly-anticipated, inaugural GVH Virtual Relay took place in a bid to replace a lack of official races and club meets. Club members were placed in evenly matched teams of four and had to complete a total of thirty miles between 5:00 am and 8:00 pm. Only one member from each team could be running at any time and participants weren’t allowed to travel to or from their start or finish points.
Several awards were up for grabs; most Strava PRs, most consistent splits, most elevation and first to finish, as well as the fastest team and the best all-rounder team. Indivaual awards for novelty item of clothing and fastest mile were also for the taking.
Some teams went for steady and consistent miles, while others were seen doing hill reps at 6am or challenging themselves by running as hard as they could, as some teams clearly focused on winning certain categories.
When you name your team What’s The Story and then dress up as Oasis band members, it’s clear to see what title you’re aiming for, and it was no surprise that that team – which included Maria Victoria, who started her leg at exactly 5:00 – went for the Morning Glory, and completed the whole 30 miles by 9:55, before a lot of teams had started their second leg, and picked up the first to finish award.
They, along with the MANGo’s and Legs Miserables managed to pick up 22 Strava PRs in each team. We Get Locked Down and We Get Up Again collected 28, but the winners in that category were Whose Round Is It as they manged an incredible 38.
Highlights from that section include Jon Roberts (What’s the Story) who picked up two crowns – the fastest ever time by anyone – on the notoriously steep Rucklers Lane, Phil Mercer (Whose Round Is It) who picked up a total of 16 PRs, Michael Linden (Legs Miserables) who clocked 16 segment PR’s plus a 10 mile and 15k PR and Nikki Tucker (The MANGo’s) who has only been running around a year but recorded 11 segment PRs and a 5k, 2 mile and 1 mile PR.
Each runner could aim for a mile pace that they would try to keep as their consistent split for their particular leg to count towards the consistent split award. They didn’t have to run them consecutively and each team member could aim for a different pace, so thirty were available for each ream.
Legs Miserables picked up third place in that category by recording a total of 19, with Living La Vida Lockdown (24) and The Flying BAATs (25) running each other close for first place.
Sevearl teams had their eye on the elevation award, some runners opting to spend their time completing hill reps or running around hilly loops near their homes.
Run For The Hills clocked up 2,571ft of elevation, while Easier Said Than Done managed 2,837ft. They were both well beaten by last-minute entrants Denmark ‘92 who climbed a massive 6,066ft.
The top three fastest teams were We Get Locked Down And We Got Up Again, who completed all their legs in 3:56:29, Whose Round Is It (3:55:24) and the winners Hardley Athletic (3:48:38).
The overall winners was the team with the most PRs and elevation, and overall time. We Get Locked Down And We Get Up Again picked up the bronze medal, with Legs Miserables winning the silver.
Quarenteamo won the much accalimed golden toilet roll!
The novelty award was judged by the club’s commitee and Cirque De Sore Legs were voted as the winners for their circus outfits.
The third fastest mile for a female was completed by Teresa Reason (6:48), behind Heather Taylor (6:35). Maria Victoria clocked the fastest mile – with the very first mile completed by anyone on the day – with an excellent time of 6:31.
The male’s fastest mile changed hands several times throughout the day. Antony Beamish and Tom Langdown both recorded early records, but they were eventually beaten by Andy Cook (5:35), Andy Wells (5:18) and Matt Ashby who waited until the very end before completing his run and grabbed a 5:13 mile to seal victory.
As it happened on the day:
The first ever GVH Virtual Relay started at 5:00 this morning and with not a minute to spare Maria Victoria set off to start the action with a solid 6 mile leg for What’s the Story. She was swiftly followed by Teresa Reason who got BAAT’s day up and running. She employed a multi lap tactic by running around a hilly local park. She achieved several consistent splits and picked up a plethora of Strava PRs and crowns.
Tim Abbott also got out before 6:00 and collected a load of PRs on an out and back route to get Team Hardly Athletic started while Rupert Cavenagh-Mainwaring was clocking up 586 ft of elevation for Run for the Hills and Dean Kidd was completing hill reps on St Albans Hill to gain over 1000 ft of elevation.
Peter Tucker is also part of What’s the Story and he completed his seven mile leg before 7:30, putting his team half way through their mileage bafore most teams had even started.
Laura Johnson went first for The Unflappables and picked up a whole load of PRs, as did Sam Raffety as she got Cirque Dun Sore Legs up and running while wearing a dress.
Phil Heaton managed to make all of his miles relatively consistent.
The quickest mile so far has been completed by Antony Beamish who completed his final mile in 5:43, after running his previous eight in consistent splits.
As we enter the final stages of the GVH Virtual Relay it’s clear to see some teams tactics and aims, with some attempting to excel in the elevation category while others aim for Strava PRs or consistent splits. Although teams have until 8:00 this evening to complete their runs, it looks like the majority of teams were wrapped up by lunch time, meaning those who aren’t yet done can snoop around on Strava to see what’s still winnable.
It looks like Tom Langdown currently holds the fastest mile time with a brilliant time 5:41 and Maria Kenny has clocked the fastest female mile – with possibly the first mile of the day by anyone – with a time of 6:31. With a couple of fast male runners still to go could Tom’s time be taken away? Can anyone stun Maria and take her time in the closing stages?
Caron Williams ran her 3 mile leg dressed a bumble bee – that takes some bravery when running alone. John Lawler completed his 5-miles in a policeman’s outfit and Jon Roberts wore a wig and carried an inflatable guitar on his way to picking up not just a few PRs but also a couple of crowns – particularly impressive as they were on the notoriously steep Rucklers Lane.
It’s difficult to see how teams are faring and I’m not going to give anything away – I can only see what everyone else can see on Strava anyway as I don’t have access to the results page – but it’s all to play for, in some categories anyway, as the final few runners complete their runs.
Yesterday was the inaugural GVH Virtual Relay. 19 teams of four runners were put together by the club captains to ensure a mix of abilities throughout the teams, and each team had to clock up a total of 30 miles between 5:00am and 8:00pm. The runs could be completed anywhere, on any route as long no one used a vehicle to get to or from the start or finish point, and no two runners from the same team were out at the same time.
Various team awards were up for grabs including most elevation, most Strava segment PRs, most consistent splits, fastest overall team (not including “hand-overs”) and earliest team to complete their overall mileage (time of day).
There were also some individual awards to be won such as fastest mile (male & female) and most novel item of clothing.
As the day unfolded it was clear to see which teams were aiming for specific categories.
Maria Kenny was first out of the blocks by starting her run at exactly 5:00 and she completed the first mile of the day by anyone in the club in 6 minutes 31 seconds. No other females came close to beating that time all day.
The fastest mile by a male changed hands several times throughout the day as a few members decided to tactically throw in some long downhill sections, but Matt Ashby, who was one of the last runners to complete their runs blew everyone else away with a 5:13 mile towards the end of his leg.
Dean Kidd decided to do hill sprints on St Albans Road at 6:00am, but later in the day Chris Dowling completed over thirty hill sprints on a local street in Berkhamsted! They weren’t in the same team but clearly both teams had the same game plan. Chris Reason put together a late flurry of hill reps to put a cat amongst the elevation pigeons – he was in the same team as Dean Kidd.
Teresa Reason started early and picked up a plethora of PRs, a category that was hotly contested throughout the day. So too was the consistent splits award, as several runners went for flat runs at a relatively steady pace as opposed to running all out and looking to clock a quick time.
With the novelty dress award also adding a bit of extra fun to the day, some teams got together to run with a theme. For instance, early runner Maria Kenny’s team What’s the Story dressed up like Oasis band members, and clearly were aiming for Morning Glory, as three of their runners had completed their runs before a lot of teams had even started their first leg.
Lockdown Legs Let Loose thought they had nicked it when they wore cops and robbers outfits and Cirque Du Sore Legs clowned around as though they were working at the circus.
Individually, Caron Williams buzzed around as a queen bee and Phil Robbins ran as Zorro.
As the day went on, club members frantically checked Strava to see who was in the running for which awards, but with 76 runners in total, completing runs at various times of day, it was all to play for until the very end.