Olympic relay with real twist

Clare Brear completes her leg of the Real Relay at the Piece Hall, Halifax, and hands over the torch to Paul Brannigan from Todmordern Harriers.
Clare Brear completes her leg of the Real Relay at the Piece Hall, Halifax, and hands over the torch to Paul Brannigan from Todmordern Harriers.

A KEEN runner has taken part in an alternative Olympic torch relay and helped to raise thousands of pounds for charity in the process.

A KEEN runner has taken part in an alternative Olympic torch relay and helped to raise thousands of pounds for charity in the process.

Clare Brear takes part in the Real Relay through Brighouse.'Pictured with her niece Jade and her friend Hannah

Clare Brear takes part in the Real Relay through Brighouse.'Pictured with her niece Jade and her friend Hannah

Clare Brear, a former pupil at Brighouse Girls Grammar School, has been part of the Real Relay, organised by Endurance Life, which saw an alternative torch - a baton with a GPS device inside - carried by amateurs across the country.

Unlike the official flame which stopped overnight and spent some of the journey in vehicles, the athletes ran every step of the way, 24 hours a day.

Clare, now of Sowerby Bridge, said the idea really appealed to her.

“I first heard about it through my running club San Domenico in South Wales where I used to live.

“I managed to sign up for the leg from Marsh to Halifax as it passed through Brighouse where my mum and sister live.

“My niece Jade unfortunately missed the official torch coming through Brighouse as it was in the car. They came out and supported me at 6.30am and it was really nice for them to see me running.

“I was also well supported by Bridget Hughes from the stadium runners in Huddersfield who joined me on my leg.”

The Real Relay started on May 28, ten days behind the official games torch and has been supporting the charity CHICKS which provides free, week-long respite breaks for disadvantaged children.

More than 2,000 runners from around the British Isles ran the Olympic torch route, covering 7,377 miles on foot over 55 days and nights.

Clare was also one of 200 runners who completed the final five-mile leg from Tower Bridge to the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London.

“I was a little disappointed that we didn’t see the Olympic stadium as we just went to the gates.

“However, the atmosphere was great and we had lots of support from people beeping their car horns and on the streets,” said Clare.

The organisers say they expect to raise more than £10,000 for CHICKS.

Donations can still be made to the charity by visiting www.uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/TheRealRelay