Over Easter 1983 I was part of the Computastars team competing in the first non-stop relay from John O’Groats to Lands End (JOGLE). Our team was half British and half Dutch; before the start I had only met a few of the team but we landed up with the best team spirit. The team had no major sponsor.
It took 2 days to get to John O’Groats and it nearly didn’t happen because the roads were blocked with snow but we managed in the end. During the run we had every sort of weather : snow, rain, sunshine, wind and hailstones.
The teams were made up of 15 runners plus the important backup of drivers, first aid etc. Unfortunately one of our team had an injury just before the race and therefore we were down to 14 runners. Runners had to be on the road for a minimum of 15 minutes (the official overseeing the race changed the rules 50 miles from the end but Computastars kept to the original and as a result we lost a place, being overtaken in the last mile). There were 6 teams in the race and the final result was (sorry but I don’t have the time for the last 3):
1. Barclays (90 hours 23 mins 14 secs)
2. Rowntree Macintosh (94 hours 7 mins 54 secs)
3. Computastars (94 hours 8 mins 37 secs)
5. British Leyland
6. Forward Trust (Midland Bank)
A distance of about 880 miles was covered in the run.
Money raised by Computastars was for The Arthritic Council and Heart Foundation of Great Britain and Netherlands.
Runners for the Computastars team were
Geoff Clarke, Jack Cook, Dave Cross, Terry Fleming, Dave Gathercole, Nigel Mason, Keith Woodhouse, Fred v.d. Berg, Marco v.d. Berg, Jan Coolen, Wim v Drunen, Kees v Gewen, Piet Walrave and myself.
The back-up crew were
Agnes Bruin, Carla v.d. Berg, Hester de Boo, Rita Walrave, Gordon Cairns, Maureen Cairns, Brian Griffiths, Alan Matthews, Yvonne Matthews and Phil Reed.
It was an unforgetable experience
Dave Cross asked to see some photos so here is my collection (in no particular order)