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Relay ribbons!

Its not always easy to self motivate. We’ve all been there, when its taken an exercise buddy to give us a swift boot out the door or we’ve done the pushing. A group of us who often run together and have spent may hours motivating each other during half marathon training were discussing our lack of solo run motivation in a group chat. And then came the genius idea that if we’re reliant on another person running again, it will motivate us. And how better than a relay!

In the current climate a traditional relay wasn’t really feasible, so we adapted it. Instead of a baton we tied ribbons at the exchange point, taking a picture to say you’d left it and a selfie to say you’d found it. We arranged routes between pairs that meant we covered short or long runs as needed.

Stage 1
Our friend Clare runs a ridiculous number of miles in a week. I (Keeva) on the other hand have been really struggling with the idea of doing a long run on my own. So for my part of the relay I needed something that would cover miles. Clare and I discussed it and to make sure we could both covered a good distance she decided Coton nature reserve would be the first baton (ribbon) passing (tying!) site.
Clare kicked off the relay on Easter Sunday looping from north Cambridge on one of her shorter (11 mile!) weekend runs. From south Cambridge, it was around 4.5 miles for me to get to Coton so no matter what I was looking at a 9 mile round trip. It turned out to be the most gorgeous sunny morning. Running through an empty Cambridge and out into the country side was just fantastic, 9 miles was a (hot!) breeze and the boost I needed! Bonus being I could then go home & smuggly feast on the easter egg that had been taunting me for the last 40 days!

Stage 2
Addenbrooke’s road bridge, the home of the hill sprint! This had to be the spot where I dropped off Rubys baton as its the place she loves to torture me! The day after my long run, the relay gave me motivation for another, although a shorter recovery one this time.

Stage 3
I(Ruby) am so happy that we cooked up this plan as my motivation to run had tanked. After a particularly hard run, (I didn’t even go that far or fast) where I felt like I couldn’t breath, I had resigned myself to the fact I was going to be an overweight couch potato by the end of social isolation. I even Skyped a friend to tell her this. She then rationally pointed out one bad run doesn’t equal failure and I should stop drinking so much wine the night before running.

Once I had the ribbon my attitude completely changed. I had to take it far enough away that Hannah would have to search for it. I don’t know why but the simple fact I had this to do motivated me to run a fairly fast 10 km and it felt fantastic. (Celebrated with ice cream. Don’t want to completely give up on being a couch potatoe)

I chose a lovely spot for the ribbon, past the Stapleford Granary towards Babraham.

Stage 4
Always dangerous leaving the two people with the least sense of direction to pass the “baton” to each other. Luckily Hannah found the ribbon and dropped it off near the George Inn in Babraham, getting in a fantastic 8 mile ‘lunch’ run!

Stage 5
Leigh went for what she refers to as a run and the rest of us refer to as a super speedy sprint (she is a phenomenal machine!) to the George Inn relay point. Looping back to Abington, she placed the final ribbon in a tree across from the Three Tuns.

Need a bit of motivation? 3 of the ribbons are still in place, head out for some runs & find out which ones …feel free to take a picture at the spot & post it in the blog!
And why not set your own ribbons to give others some motivation to run!


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