Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Runner Appeal for World Record Relay; Concern over Four Sections in North East

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Runner Appeal for World Record Relay; Concern over Four Sections in North East

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Rowley

RUNNERS from across Britain are joining forces for a 3,100 mile relay marathon, but it is feared the North East might drop the baton.

Hundreds of athletes have signed up for the Relay GB world record attempt, which they hope will raise pounds 500,000 for Brain Tumour UK.

Each runner will complete a 26-mile marathon stretch before handing on to the next competitor, collectively outstripping the current 1,923 mile record. They will complete a route from the tip of Scotland to the south coast resort of Poole in Dorset.

But our region could let the side down as no one has signed up to complete four of the stretches.

Organisers are scrambling to find more volunteers in just five weeks before the attempt, which passes through the region on May 20 and 21.

The vacant marathons, including a stretch from Burnmouth in the Scottish Borders to Bamburgh Castle and from the castle to Morpeth, pass some of the region's most breathtaking scenery.

The other stretches are from Morpeth to Camperdown and Peterlee to Ormsbury.

Casual runners are welcome to apply and can complete their stretch of the run as a team.

At least two runners are needed for each stretch, although a larger team can enter. Craig Smith from Little Benton, Newcastle, will complete the Camperdown to Peterlee stretch with two friends.

This will be the 45-year-old's eight marathon, but his first in the dark.

His team are due to run from 3am to 7am, so they will complete the course with head torches.

The Heaton Harriers member said: "All the marathons I have run before have been big city marathons so you have been surrounded by hundreds of people.

"This will just be the three of us in the middle of the night with head torches just going for it. The camaraderie and spirit will keep us going. …

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