Nik Windle reports from his involvement in the Real Relay

The Real Relay Stage 548 – Nik Windle

I was able to participate in a unique running event on 12th July  – the Real
Relay is tracing the route of the Olympic flame round the UK but being run
every step of the way instead of traveling between venues by coach. By the
22nd July over 7,300 miles will have been run over 55 days in 672 stages
with over 2,000 runners taking part.

Stages are in high demand and I ended up bagging stage 548, Crowmarsh
Gifford to Henley via Nettlebed which is a busy A road with a big hill as
the crow flies. Fortunately there are parallel minor roads for some of the
way and overgrown path for much of the rest. Come the day the baton, a long
white pole with a GPS tracker attached, was running 90 minutes late, it was
pouring with rain and my mate who was supposed to be sharing the stage
failed to arrive in time for the handover. All the same it was a fantastic
experience: chugging up the 160 metre climb over the Chilterns, splashing
down the edge of the road getting toots of support from drivers, skipping on
and off the path to dodge obstructions and handing over the baton to the
next runner in the middle of Henley Bridge. I didn’t gain any time back but
there again I didn’t lose any so happy with the result considering the route
and conditions.

Of course I wore my VRUK vest for the run but unfortunately no one would of
known as I kept my cycling gear on for the entire run 🙂