This race is an annual relay, which has been running since the late 70s, run along the entire length of the North Downs Way – starting with the first leg from Dover at 5:30am, comprising 16 legs in total, and finishing in Farnham at around 8:00pm.
After 123 miles of rain, mud, sunshine and hills, the SLOW team were just pipped to the post by Guildford Orienteers, by the narrowest of margins – finishing just 40 seconds behind Guildford’s winning time of 16 hours 33 minutes 41 seconds (that’s 0.07% !!).
Guildford were actually ahead of us all day, and the closest we ever reached was the final 40-second margin. After 15 legs the Guildford team had built a lead of over 14 minutes, but on the final leg from Puttenham to Farnham, a very strong run by Paul Nixon (just 8 seconds outside the all-time leg record), and a crippling stitch that held Kath Denton back in the middle of the run, had both teams biting their nails as the minutes ticked away at the finish in Farnham. Luckily for Guildford, Kath managed to pull through the stitch and crossed the line with just 40 seconds to spare.
SLOW had a number of excellent runs during the day, and as well as Paul’s win on the final leg we also had leg wins by Owen Lindsell (leg 3), Simon Evans (leg 4), Ed Catmur (leg 6), Mike Garvin (leg 11), Mark Vyvyan-Robinson (leg 13) and Mike Farmery (leg 14).
SLOW also had a half-team running the 2nd half of the race only – in the 2nd half our teams finished 1st and 4th.
Thanks to everyone for running, and especially to Andy Robinson and Richard & Ginny Catmur for timekeeping, and Sarah Covey-Crump for hosting the early runners on Friday night.