Today, the 40th King Henry VIII Relay took place – a prestigious 6×2.3 mile relay race for secondary schools. I took the day off work to watch, as my brother Edmund was competing for King Henry VIII school, running the sixth leg. I ran the Relay a few years ago so it was a bit of nostalgia for me to revisit.
Needless to say, it was also a great opportunity for some photographs – despite the fact that the daylight was fading on an overcast February day, so some of these photos are a bit grainy.
There were more than fifty boys’ teams taking part, and there was a nice, muddy mass start from the line to get the event going.
As the runners gathered near the changeover area, I snapped this shot of Edmund.
As I said, he was running the last leg so with five legs before, each lasting between 11-15 minutes, I had an hour to watch and photograph other runners. The course is roughly a figure-of-eight in Coventry‘s Memorial Park, so hanging around near the middle I was able to take shortcuts across
Then Edmund’s turn to run came. Here he takes the tag from the fifth man…
… and sprints up the starting straight.
I caught him after the woodland section, about halfway through the 2.3 mile course. A few “kind” words of brotherly support, and his pace was soon upped a little.
Minutes later, he was charging up the finishing straight – level at first and then slightly uphill towards the line for a lap time of 14:42. Not bad at all.
Unfortunately King Henry VIII didn’t get a place in the trophies, but the runners did well. Marling School were the fastest team, and the two fastest individual laps were from two of their runners.
Good fun and fresh air all round.