Coasting Around Britain – The Forumites Run The Country

This week a pioneering group of runnersworld.co.uk forumites set off on an epic adventure - to run around the coast of Britain.

What is the Coastal Relay?

The 'Coasters', as the relay runners are known, set off from Blackpool Tower and will run all the way around the coast of Britain (or as near as they can get to the coast!) and back to Blackpool. 'Barry' the CoastersGB baton will travel with them, passing from runner to runner.

The mammoth distance has been split by organisers into 20 stretches, which are then divided into individual legs. These legs are not a set distance, so each runner can do as much or as little as they like.

The Coastal Relay isn't a race - the 'Coasters' simply aim to unite and celebrate the running community of Great Britain.

How did it come about?

RW forumite The Hoose Goer was inspired by Eddie Izzard's 2009 multi-marathon tour of the UK, and in early December he decided to attempt something similar.

He decided against his original plan - to run the coast of Britain alone - in favour of organizing a relay to cover the route, and the Great Britain Coastal Relay was born.

A dedicated team of forumites got to work, and soon decided on a starting point (Blackpool Tower) and a start date (May 9 2010). It became clear that the epic trip would have to be split up into shorter stretches. The 20 stretches the 'Coasters' decided upon will each take around a week to cover, and each individual stretch is organised by local forumites.

Who's involved?

A loyal band of forumites - the CoastersGB. There's a place for every runner on the CoastersGB team, from stretch co-ordinators who pull together runners and plan routes to runners who just fancy a short jog.

It's not too late to join them - especially if you fancy running in the more isolated parts of Scotland! Whether you're planning an epic trip or a plod on home territory, visit the CoastersGB forum thread to join the stretch you fancy.

When is it happening?

Barry started his journey on May 9 2010 - but you'll have plenty of chance to join in or follow the runners as the relay winds north from Blackpool Tower, up into Gretna and around the craggy edge of Scotland before heading south around the coastline of England and Wales.

How do I get involved?

Each stretch can be divided up between an unlimited amount of runners, so whether you want to do three miles or thirty you can be part of the relay. You can volunteer for as many legs as you want, in as many different sections as you want. You can also volunteer to be part of the army of 'floaters' (runners prepared to run legs all over the country).

Simply get in touch with a stretch co-ordinator and sign up for whatever you feel comfortable with.

You don't need to belong to a running club either - the relay isn't affiliated to any club or organisation. It's also completely free to take part.

If you're unable to get involved, don't worry - you can track 'Barry' with the tracker on the CoastersGB website.

Find out more

The thread that started it all - Hoose's call to action.

On the CoastersGB website you can catch up on the latest news, take a look at your stretch and even track 'Barry' as he makes his way around the coast.

The CoastersGB Facebook group

You can also follow the CoastersGB and even Barry the Baton himself on twitter