Student news - VirtualRelay

Athletics team compete in 8-hour virtual relay against four Scottish Universities

Wed, 17 Jun 2020 16:19:00 BST
GCU Athletics Team with their home-made batons.
GCU Athletics Team with their home-made batons.

GCU's Athletics Team came fifth place in a stay-at-home relay event organised by Glasgow University.

GCU’s current students teamed up with ex-committee members who have graduated to take part in a virtual relay event organised by ‘Hares and Hounds’ Glasgow University’s athletics team.

Each participating university had 16 runners who would each run a 30-minute leg of the relay, to see how far they could run within the time limit.

Glasgow Caledonian University collected a total of 107.21km coming fifth place in the competition – Dundee University fell in fourth place just baby steps ahead with 107.27km.

Runners got creative with their use of batons for the relay and items including a banana, a wooden spoon, an inflatable microphone and a packet of digestive biscuits were used as the official competition batons.

Team member Kirsty Patterson explained how impactful this event was to keep the group engaged whilst everyone is in different locations and unable to train together.

She said: “During everything that is going on, it is so important to get out and exercise for both physical and mental health. It’s a great way to keep in touch with uni friends when we’re all separated and fairly far apart in some cases.”

The team’s President Megan Gemmell also described how close the team are and how difficult it has been to stay connected during the current crisis.

She said: “As a university club, we thrive on getting together to train and socialise, and so lockdown has been hard for us all.
Events like this where we are working together, despite being apart, are so important as they allow us to check in with one another.
As well as the obvious benefits to physical health that come with running, GCU Athletics also puts a huge emphasis on the benefits to people’s mental wellbeing that it has.”

The competition has also given the team a chance to work towards something whilst all sporting events and games have been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Endurance captain Jamie Arnott explained how the relay was something for the group to focus their energy on and stay motivated.

He said: “It was great to participate in an actual race where you can push yourself, rather than just training for months on end, not knowing when the next competition will be.
It was great and a really simple way to interact and compete with other unis from all over Scotland.”

Interested in joining the GCU Athletics Team? Email for information.

By Rebecca Meechan
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