The Sport Relief First Nation Home Challenge, was billed as the biggest ever Sport Relief challenge. Four teams of sports men and women, and celebrities, representing the home nations, battled against each other over eight consecutive days from March 10th to March 17th. The teams, with Scotland represented by Thom Evans, Graeme Obree, Dougie Vipond, Alain Baxter, Jennifer Reoch, Cat Cubie, Jock Wishart, Kenny Logan, Scott Hastings and Dr Stephanie Cook MBE, ran, cycled, rowed and sailed 1200 miles around the UK and Ireland.
A week later the teams were back in Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff and London to run another 6 miles with local runners, including, in Edinburgh, a small group representing ERN, in the RanSlam!
Team England won the First Nation Home Challenge over the 1200 mile route around the UK and Ireland, but it was Team Ireland who won the Ranslam, with their competitors averaging 42 minutes for the 6 mile course in Belfast, Team England were second with an average of 44 Minutes, with Team Scotland only 30 seconds behind them.
Gillian said : “A brand new event to me. As the name suggests it was organised as part of Sports Relief week-end and the idea was we ran as fast as we could to try and ensure our nation beat the other nations. Similar races were taking place in England, Wales and Northern Ireland then the average speed of each nations runners was worked out.
It started on the Royal Mile at 8am, about 300 people all wearing T shirts supplied by the sponser, We kicked off by singing “Flower of Scotland” then off we went down the Royal Mile and into Holyrood Park. Can you imagine my joy when I discovered the course was 5 hill reps, heading up towards the Commie Pool (but not right to the top thankfully) and back to the roundabout at Dynamic Earth. As we all plodded up and down least it gave me a chance to look for all the celebrities that were supposed to be running. Nae luck. Only faces I recognised were the ERN ones.
“Was quite a tough event but it had a really nice atmosphere with music and a compere at the end name checking us all in. There was a great wee stall selling tea and home made cake which we all headed for. So all in all a good morning out.”
“Subsequently found out England won the challenge. No wonder. Suspect their course wasn’t running up and down a hill for near enough an hour !!”
Elly said : “With a little persuasion from Fiona, I signed up for this 6 mile race. It then transpired that we would be starting at 8am and the clocks were going forward the night before – brilliant!
“Fi and I headed up to meet the rest of the gang on the High Street, Phil feeling that he should be there to support us, also got up early and came to the start! (Payback to me for all his early morning ultra starts!)”
“At this point I was blissfully unaware of the route, apart from down the High Street and into Holyrood Park. There had been rumours of once round Arthur Seat with a wee bit on at the end, which made sense, although thinking about it, bet Team England didn’t have a hill to run round! However it transpired that we had 5 laps of roughly 1 mile up Queens Drive. We subsequently received an apology from the race organiser who advised this route was only confirmed to them on the Friday! We all set off and ran down the High Street mainly together and then as we turned into Holyrood we started to get into our own groove. The one good thing about doing the laps was that we could cheer on Team ERN as we passed each other. Laurie was just behind me and I expected to find her sprinting past me on the last flat bit to the finish line but I managed to keep ahead.”
Phil even managed to take some photo’s although he did say it was very hard to distinguish us all as we were wearing our Team Scotland T shirts!”
After the finish Laurie spied a very full cake stall so by 9am we had finished our race and were having coffee and cake. We watched the first few family fun runs coming in before heading home.”
Team Scotland may not have won the overall First Nation Home Challenge or the Team Ranslam, however we were the team that raised the most money for Sport Relief so a pat on the back for that.”