Green Belt Relay 2017

Race Reports May 25, 2017

Saturday 20th - Sunday 21st May 2017

By Ioan Smith


TWickenham And Teddingtons Finest

Great weekends of sporting events almost inevitably invoke a period of reflection and stimulate [temporary] “melancholistic” feelings. The Green Belt Relay was no different in that regard. It was an absolute pleasure to ferry everyone from stage to stage racking up over 350 miles in a car, sewing Delaney-like Strava patterns all over (and under) the M25. Driving has never been, nor will be, as pleasurable. Well, until next year’s Green Belt Relay obviously! Almost every event done with SHAEFers has incredible emotion attached to it. First it was Brighton, then London, and now the Green Belt.

A huge thanks and congratulations to Field Marshall Fullen for organising — GE Capital’s Excel Spreadsheets served you well manna. I can also confirm that Herr Fullen, does actually talk about running in his sleep (he had the massive king-sized bed and I had the single tucked in the corner by the window for clarification purposes). There are also no Angels of Harlow — not around the Travelodge anyway. The shift you put in on your leg (literally the left and relay!) was also Herculean although we now you were guided by a higher a power judging from the photographic evidence of the beam of light guiding your journey (which would make a great new Strava profile pic btw). Congratulations also for inventing the “#WhatsAppWangcuh” moniker for running and texting (in 2nd place!). Can only be bettered by FaceTiming all of us next year — in front! Here are the trigger points for your piriformis — don’t probe in public:


Piriformis — dangerous thingymajig that


“Go away Higher Power — can’t see my screen to WhatsApp everyone!”

I would also like to congratulate Tom on stepping up to the plate and putting in another Herculean performance on Sunday. That really was “once more unto the breach”-type stuff which should henceforth be known as a “proper SHAEF shift”. If anyone wants to know how he did it or wants to achieve similar results just come see me and I’ll supply some “Magic Mega Pencils”.


Magic Pens — Confirmation: No “i” ANYWHERE in the second word.

Rodney also stepped unto the breach but should be saluted not for running with an injury but for putting himself in harms way given the disapproving looks he got from 26.2 for donning the “Shield”.


Rodney: Only person throughout the whole weekend to have his backside bitten by a wooden snake

Congratulations also goes to Gary “The Snake” Neville for an incredible second day leg and more than likely smashed the V50 record (confirmed since) — and did a Bannister-like feat in breaking the magic hour mark for the leg. One suspects though that it might have taking him longer to write the course description on his arm than it did to actually run the thing!



SHAEF Shifters Green Belt Relay full Roll of Honour — because everyone deserves more than a mention:

Rob Jones — Needs to write a note on his fridge to remind himself to take trail shoes as well as racing flats next year. His weekend elevation gain on his Suunto suggests he made it halfway to the moon. “Boxed” it on Quality Street.


Julian Diamond — On September the 5th 1782 nothing happened in Blackmore. Well, on Sunday May 21 something did happen — Julian set off for the first leg with a belly full of Toby 4 meats carvery in his “belly”….and coxed it.


Nick Rowe — Winner of the “most scenic picture of a runner” of the weekend. Surprised he hasn’t updated it as a new Strava profile picture yet. The best Wilson Phillips “Hold On” carpool karaoke partner a man could ever wish for.


You could sustain,
Or are you comfortable with the pain?

Justin Reid — Served notice to Serpies and TH&H that they may not be bossing it quite as easy in SHAEF’s office for much longer. Hollywood last leg from Justin. Hollywood. Fitting end to an amazing weekend. Snakes on a (flood) plain:


Aaron Chai — Tremendous leg on day 2. 13 wasn’t unlucky!


Clayton Bannon — Unbelievable commitment to the cause. Traversed London on public transport — a fate worse than death in some cases! Two unbelievable legs on really tough terrain. Invented the new “SHAEF Salute”:


Chris Boylett — Strong link in the chain. Probably took longer to get a taxi back to Ripley than it did to run his leg from there to Walton!


Jonathan Wooldridge — Another strong link in the chain. Whole thing would have fallen apart if he hadn’t stepped up to the plate. Thank you. He did it all under the pressure of having the Bond baddie from Skyfall — Raoul Silva (#346 #notreally) — running for London Frontrunners in his Day 2 leg:


Darren Franks — The track king didn’t let London 7s, Bradford fans or Kempton Park bike show phase his military-like negotiation of West, North West London roads. <> PB potion?


Anthony Bate — Winner of “Best dressed support crew member” for the weekend. Two popped collars, turned up shorts chinos and boat shoes. Should borrow Ravi’s sunglasses for next year to take it to the next level.


Louise Atkinson — Nice backseat recce for women’s captain of GBR 2018! <<wink>>

Ravi Lobo — Winner of “Best Sunglasses of the weekend”


Orders currently being taken for Day 1 of the 2018 Green Belt Relay kit:


As ever in SHAEF’s short history “Nobody Ever Ran Alone”.