1. ITV Report

Continuous 'Real Relay' eyes the finish line

Charlotte and Andrew Barker with the Real Relay Baton. Photo: Endurancelife

A dedicated team of amateur runners from across the country have been pounding the streets in a continuous relay - mirroring the Olympic torch route.

Unlike the official Olympic Torch relay that stops at the end of each day, the 'Endurancelife Relay' has been continuing 24 hours a day and is made up of 10-mile stages.

Starting in Lands End, Cornwall, the alternative relay is set to over-take the official one, before reaching the Olympic Park in London on Sunday afternoon.

Steve Guard at Caerphilly, Wales. Credit: Endurancelife

Organiser Kate Treleaven told ITV News 'Real Relay' was started after the official torch was began its journey.

We were supporting the Olympic Torch relay in our town in Devon but we were surprised to see the torch being packed onto a van and driven to the next location. We thought that was a missed opportunity and decided to see if we could get a torch around the country but running all the way.

– Organiser Kate Treleaven
Ed Gumbley and Nigel Maddocks at the change over on the Isle of Man. Credit: Endurancelife

The relay organisers have been recruiting runners to complete the stages along the way - not knowing if enough runners would be available to complete the whole route. Stages have also been completed by groups, sharing the miles, as well as individuals.

Ross Bark leaves Cairnryan for Stranraer. Credit: Endurancelife

By the time the baton - which is fitted with a GPS tracking system - reaches the Olympic Park in London on Sunday it is thought 2,000 runners will have taken part.

A total of £10,000 will have also been raised for the charity Chicks, which provides respite care for disadvantaged children.

All of these people have taken part in something fantastic. Nobody would have knocked us if we hadn't been able to find the runners to complete it but to be this close and knowing it will be completed is very satisfying.

– Organiser Kate Treleaven
David Jamieson gets ready to run stage 61 between Ludlow and Cleobury Mortimer Credit: Endurancelife

To sign up to take part in the final stages or to track the relay runners' progress, visit the Endurancelife Real Relay's Facebook page or the Endurancelife website.

Lee Smith raises the Real Relay baton high in Cheltenham. Credit: Endurancelife

The 'Real Relay' in numbers:

  • 55 days and nights
  • Five countries visited
  • 672 stages completed
  • More than 2,00 runners
  • 7,377 miles completed on foot