The Green Belt Relay
The Green Belt Relay is a surreal running race around 220 miles of the Metropolitan Green Belt, which connects 22 landscapes in a 48-hour route that has been run annually since 1995. The itinerary has been formed though a personal and collective imagining of the Green Belt, which connects the subsequent communities and landscape. The route weaves its way around the villages, rivers and paths of the Green Belt and originates from the course directors personal experiences of these places. The course aims to collectively celebrate these associations and landscapes, whether picturesque countryside, urban hinterland, nature reserve or infrastructure.
The Green Belt Relay evolves in 2018 to a calendric event that’s sees the passing of ‘landscape batons’. Two communities seemingly mundane and shared attachment to their landscape is pinpointed by identifying specific natural or man-made landmarks that the community’s identity gravitates around, such as a Cathedral, weir or forest. From this, a new connecting landmark embarks on an itinerary across the Green Belt and delivers a shared experience of these coupled landscapes unique identities. Through this process, the Landscape Batons are formed: The Floating Tearoom (Dobbs Weir to Staines-Upon-Thames), The Library Arches (Saint Albans to Thorndon Park), The Parabolic Pantry (Queen Elizabeth Bridge to West Hanger) and The Village Hall (Merstham to Toot Hill).