Hereward Relay plans for flood U-turn

PUBLISHED: 11:40 21 November 2008 | UPDATED: 08:45 02 June 2010

By ADAM LAZZARI A RELAY race, widely regarded as Fenland s biggest annual sporting event, may be disrupted by flooding at Welney. More than 500 runners will be running through Whittlesey, March, Turves and Welney on Sunday, when the Hereward Relay takes p

By ADAM LAZZARI

A RELAY race, widely regarded as Fenland's biggest annual sporting event, may be disrupted by flooding at Welney.

More than 500 runners will be running through Whittlesey, March, Turves and Welney on Sunday, when the Hereward Relay takes place.

Runners will hail from all over the country for the four-stage 38-mile race from Peterborough Cathedral to Ely City Football Club, which is now in its 11th year.

It has traditionally finished at Ely Cathedral, but was changed for the first time last year because of traffic in the city.

If flooding occurs, runners will have to turn back from Welney and head to March and the race will be finished at West End Park.

Peter Jackman, chairman of March Athletic Club, who organise the race, said: "This happened about five years ago and it's quite an annoyance.

"Although the race doesn't technically finish at Ely Cathedral any more, it's still seen as a cathedral to cathedral race, as Ely Cathedral can be clearly seen from the football club. If there's flooding at Welney on Sunday it will ruin that special aspect to the race.

"We won't know until the day what the situation will be and we have to be prepared for any outcome.

"But we will cope whatever happens. I feel sorrier for the people of Welney who have to put up with this."

Races are run in teams of four and 132 teams have entered.

March AC, Wisbech-based Fenland Runners and Ely Runners have all entered seven teams.

Six ultra runners plan to run the entire 38 miles solo.

Amongst those are Peter Galpin from the BRJ club in Huntingdon, who seen to be one of the top runners in Cambridgeshire.

Mr Jackman said: "The Hereward Relay is a unique event. Seventy per cent is run on country roads and there's something quite beautiful about running in the open country that people enjoy and I believe that is one the reasons that this race continues to be so popular."

Cambridge-based runners were victorious at last year's raced with a team called Muddy Mucky Monkeys winning the men's race and a Cambridge and Coleridge team winning the ladies' race.

Mr Jackman said: "We have a very strong March ladies' team entering this year's race and I think they could give everyone a run for their money."

Visit www.cambstimes24.co.uk and www.wisbechstandard24.co.uk on Monday to see a race report and picture gallery.


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