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That's the 2017 Peterhead to Ellon Railway Relay done and dusted.

This year we had 20 team entries with 19 teams starting on the day, plus one solo entry by special arrangement.  Approximately 80 runners took part, ably supported by drivers plus all the friends and family that came to The Meadows Sports Centre for the finish.

The female race was won for the second year by Stonehaven Top Cats in 3h 36m, very close to last year's time of 3h 35m.  This year however they had a battle with fellow clubmates Stonehaven Alley Cats who were not far behind in 3h 38m.

The male race was won by Stonehaven Top Dogs in 2h 52m, coming close to last year's men's record of 2h 49m.


Figure.  Stonehaven RC members: flexing.

For the mixed teams - the biggest category by far - it was Newburgh Dunes A team that narrowly took the top spot in 3h 3m over next fastest team First Class with 3h 4m.


Figure.  Newburgh Dunes A changeover at Longside.  If you look closely in the background a runner from another team is having a bit of a rest.

Finally, a special mention needs to go to Naomi Milne who did the run solo by special arrangement.  And thank you for doing the prize draw despite feeling a bit frazzled!

Full results can be found at the bottom of this report.

The Race

About 5 days out it was forecast for a bit of rain in the afternoon but again we lucked out and had a glorious day for it.  Perhaps a bit too glorious with some runners commenting that it was a bit hot at times.  The wind was nowhere near as bad last year but still present and added a little more work to do on some of the more exposed sections.

I had a minor panic at around 1015h when a friend of mine doing a long run on the line rang me and told me there was a section of line that was flooded and 'impassable', the first wave already having already been set off with no warning.  I got a second report that it wasn't as bad as all that.  This was in the Mintlaw to Old Deer section leg.  In the end everyone got through ok albeit some with soaking feet who went through it and others with muddy feet who skirted the sides of it.


Figure.  The puddle on the Mintlaw to Old Deer leg.  Straight through or round the edge?

We've seen alternating bouts of rain and shine recently so there was a bit of overgrowth on the last leg by the river with runners having to dodge some nettles and brambles.  No casualties were reported.


I'd like to thank Glen Chalmers for help with pre-event organisation, The Meadows Sports Centre for use of the venue, and my mum who always likes getting involved and is the one to thank for the very large quantity of homemade tablet available at the finish.  

Big thank you to Ellon Round Table for doing the BBQ, all the proceeds from which will be pooled with your entry fees to go to this year's beneficiary, 1st Ellon Scouts Group.

I'm also very grateful to The Running Shop, Aberdeen for being our sponsors again.

And of course a big thank you to all you runners for taking part.  As an organiser it's such a great feeling seeing a finish area filled with smiling faces and people swapping war stories from the run.



Figure.  Ellon Round Table hosted the BBQ.  They didn't hesitate to tell me that 100% of proceeds would be going to the race beneficiaries.  These guys spent most of their Sunday hard at work simply to give back to the community.


It will be a few days before overheads are dealt with and we know the final amount raised but you guys have definitely put a huge dent in the amount needed for 1st Ellon Scout Group's new trailer for their camping trips.  Keep an eye on Facebook for updates.

The future

If you've read a bit on the website you may already know that I copied this format from an event I took part in in England a few years ago.  I liked the format because it meant I could run the event as a one-man show.  However, with year two I grew the event and it was a lot of work.  I tried to dial it back a little this year but it still came out as a lot of pre-event hours and a long day.

I've been really pleased with the feedback and would hate to shave any more off the event, so I'm already pretty sure that for years to come I'm going to try to establish a race committee so that there is the manpower to organise the essential setup and ancillary aspects that many runners appreciate; like medals and photography for example which I know some of you missed having this year.


I want this race to be a fab event in the Ellon calendar.  Any feedback, however big or small, please drop me a note via the website or the Facebook page.


Thank you all for a brilliant day.

Steven Garden

Race Director - The Railway Relay


2017 Results

Category Number Team Name Time
Female 10 Stonehaven Top Cats 3:36
  11 Stonehaven Alley Cats 3:38
  15 JSK Wifies 3:52
Male 9 Stonehaven Top Dogs 2:52
  14 WRRC RebelPT 2:57
  6 Newburgh Dunes B 3:03
  1 Former Thistle AllStars 3:17
Mixed 5 Newburgh Dunes A 3:03
  12 First Class 3:04
  13 RebelPT 3:23
  21 Barmy Bobbies White 3:35
  4 Barmy Bobbies Blue 3:37
  17 Off the rails 3:37
  8 The Waites 3:41
  19 Trainspotting 5 3:47
  2 Orangey Goodness 3:54
  16 No Sleep Till Ellon 3:56
  18 Barmy Bobbies Red 4:06
  3 Tudors and the rose 4:09
  7 Grampy Psychos DNS
NA 20 Naomi Milne (solo entry) 4:58