CSSC Road Relays

‘If you’ve got great teammates, anything is possible’

The CSSC Road Relays are a relay (no s*** Sherlock) event, held annually at Finsbury Park, London.  Each participants runs 2 laps on the undulating park road, totalling about 2.8 miles.  Men’s teams consist of 4 runners, with 3 in each women’s team.

OS entered 2 teams, with the A team originally being James C, Mark A, Mark S and Peat A, with Matt P, Tony K, Mick A and James N in the B’s.  However, Peat was a late withdraw, meaning Matt was moved up to the A team and on the journey up Mark A kindly agreed to run 2 legs, one for each team, although it transpired that this was unnecessary as there was a spare runner in one of the other teams so we adopted Matthew Nelson to OS for the day.

At 2:00 and in blustery conditions they were off, James ran a great first leg, at the changeover to Mark A we were in 2nd place overall.  Mark maintained that position, closing the gap to first place Minerva. Over to Matt who lost a place to the National Crime Agency, but more importantly gained nearly a minute on Minerva, who started leg 3 in the lead, but were also overtaken by the NCA. At the changeover to Mark S we were therefore in 3rd, but with only a 10 second deficit to 2nd.  Mark then ran a storming leg to ensure we finished 2nd overall, coincidentally, 1:19 behind winners NCA and 1:19 ahead of Minerva in third.  Memory of participants (Mick) suggests this equals our best ever performance at the Road Relays.

Mark A at full speed just finishing lap 1/starting lap 2

Never been more pleased to see Mark’s outstretched hand

OS B team started with James Norris running a strong leg, before handing to Mick, onto our guest, Matthew Nelson, who passed onto Tony to run a great anchor leg.

Pictures captured by James N during the race, including a seamless (judge for yourself) handover from Matt to Mark


The effect of 2.8 miles at full speed on James C was remarkable … (he had to leave early, the pic is Ian Statter from CSAA)

A little bit of history of the Road Relays from the CSAA website

The CSAA Road Relays have been held at London’s Finsbury Park since 1978 but records show that possibly the first Relays were at the City of London Arena in 1953. Up until 2015 when the Race moved from October to March the Men’s Team had 5 runners racing over the tough 2 lap course. From 2015 it became teams of 4. The Women’s event used to be a straight race over the 2.8 mile course but in 1993 a 3 Team Relay was introduced and has continued since then.

The 2018 event saw the highest number of participants since 2013 which was pleasing for the event’s organisers as consideration was being given to the events future and whether it could continue in the face of falling numbers. However, it still remains popular and will hopefully continue for the foreseeable future.

The fastest leg ever was by Mike Chorlton in 1983 (12:45 = 2:53 per KM), with fastest women’s leg by Kath Binns in 1978 (15:10 = 3:26 per KM)