JOGLE 1983

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)

4. Kalamazoo

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)

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4 Responses to JOGLE 1983

  1. Dave Gathercole says:

    Cliff. I was part of the 1983 team. Amazing to see the photos and the recollections of an amazing efforts and memories we all made. I have told this story to so many people and it’s almost become a running joke as a divorce and many years later with no remaining photos nobody has believed me.
    I hope you are well. I still run but not distance but are competing in road cycling etape and sportive events.
    Amazing memories and thanks for the wonderful memories. Do you have the hard copy “log” that we kept after each run or any more photos. I had a one year old child in 1983 and now have three children and 2 grandchildren and I want to bore them to death with memories of yore!!!! David Gathercole

  2. Mike Hawtree says:

    Hi Cliff,

    For the past year I’ve written a blog about my (now retired) life in Switzerland and elsewhere around the world. A fellow blogger mentioned that he was doing a virtual John O’Groats to Land’s by running 2 miles a day for 100 days, so it reminded me of our epic race back in 1983… A quick search on google revealed your site.

    I was one of the main organisers of the Rowntree Mackintosh team – also running in our “Team B”. Like Dave, I’ve told the tale of the JOGLE many times – and also got disbelieving looks. However, I still have the hardcopy log book somewhere and possibly some photos to prove it really did happen.

    I recall passing Jack Cook about 5 miles from the finish after the organisers altered the rules to allow any time or distance on the road. We were lucky in that we had 10 fit bodies able to run from about 50 miles out, so we were almost prepared to drop them out paratrooper style to catch you guys up !

    I am still running – though not as much as I used to. I’m currently training for the Ascona-Locarno marathon in October and did the Vienna marathon on my 60th birthday, 2 years ago almost exactly today.

    They were happy days and it was a great experience. Let me know if you are still running and/or in touch with anyone. The Rowntree guy on two of the photos is Martin Thompson, though I’ve not seen him for quite a few years.

    All the best,

    • cliffWPA says:

      Hi Mike,
      I’m afraid that I stopped running about 10 years ago. I kept getting injuries one after the other and thought my body was trying to tell me something.
      I’m still in touch with Gordon Cairns, Dave Cross and Jan Coolen (all of Computastars).
      Richard Jephcott, of Kalamazoo, held a reunion last year for Jogle 83 and Kalamazoo eventers.

  3. Wim van Drunen says:

    Hi Cliff,
    long time agoo 1983 I have tried different times to find something about our famous Jogel 1983 but without luck untill now! I lost all my information concerning out Jogle due to al lot of changes familywise and others. the most I mis is the logbook from Agnes Bruin which she roote for all of us.

    How are you doing 34 years later? That will be a long story I know but in general. I’m no longer running after thriathlons and other strange runs periods, just enjoy life as it is and comes….If you can help me or know somebody who has information about our Jogle please let me know or send me whats available.

    I will come back later on to you…nice you are still active with lot of things…. Wim van Drunen

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