The 2023 Hartley relays took place on Sunday 15th October. Results appear below and photos are expected shortly!
The Hartley Relays are an East Coast running institution. They were set up by Graeme Hartley of Kinross Road Runners in (or at least around) 1985. The original format employed the Kinross Half Marathon route (as it was then) plus a slight addition. Teams of 14 runners took part, each team containing at least 2 females. Each runner ran a one-mile leg of the 14-mile route, with teams providing their own support and transport vehicle.
The relays were – and remain to this day – for invited road running clubs (rather than track clubs), the concept being to offer road club members the opportunity to race over a mile (a distance which was then only available to track clubs at track meetings).
At the time, as per Eurovision format, the winning club also took up the race’s organisation for the next year.
As with almost all things, the format has been tweaked and adjusted – some say diluted – over the years. The Hartleys now offers a more amenable, accessible and equitable format thus
+ Although the emphasis is (increasingly) on mixed teams (accounting for over two-thirds of the field in 2022), male-only and female-only teams also feature. This is a rare opportunity in Scottish racing for mixed teams to compete.
+ Mixed teams must comprise 3+2 of either gender (3 male/2 female or 3 female/2 male; the former is almost invariably preferred!). This does not apply to junior teams, which can be any gender mix.
+ Under-18s are particularly welcome; the fastest tend to run in adult teams, others in their own under-14 and under-18 teams. Many participating clubs – PRR included – do not lay claim to junior members; children of club members are allowed to run to boost U14 and U18 numbers.
+ The race now comprises ten one-mile legs, with each runner taking on two legs each (the five runners of a team completing the first five legs in the same order as the second five legs).
+ The course is thus now a one-mile course, repeated ten times, this replacing the use of equal sections of a much longer course (also obviating the need for support vehicles, pre-placing and collection of runners etc). The route can be on tarmac or trail, undulating or flat, or any mix of these.
+ Clubs have a rota system for hosting, sharing around the logistical and cost burden.
Overall, the Hartley Relays feel – and are – noticeably different to most other competitive running events. They offer a relaxed and informal feel, where juniors and seniors from smaller clubs can run and socialise together. Currently, teams keep their own timings during the race, to reduce the complexity of the administration burden on the hosting club.
The clubs currently invited to the Hartley Relays are (set out in order of the rota of hosting club):
+ Wee County Harriers
+ Beacon Runners
+ Anster Haddies
+ Forfar Road Runners
+ Dundee Road Runners
+ Arbroath Footers
+ Falkland Trail Runners
+ Leven Las Vegas
+ Kinross Road Runners
+ Strathearn Harriers
+ Perth Road Runners
The 2023 Hartleys
PRR sent two teams to Alva, where they picked up 3rd and 10th places in the mixed teams.
Recent Hartleys results
2022 – Perth (hosted by PRR)
2019 – Crieff (hosted by Strathearn H)
2018 – Kinross (hosted by KRR)
2017 – Elie (hosted by LLV)
2010 – Perth (hosted by PRR)