The Peter Palmer Junior Team Relay was established by Peter Palmer, then Director Coaching of British Orienteering. Peter wanted to create a junior relay, similar to those in Scandinavia, which incorporated legs which would be completed in the dark.
The current Peter Palmer format consists of 6 legs of differing length and technical difficulty: Red – Red – Light Green – Orange – Yellow – Green. It is usual for at least two of those legs to be completed in the dark, with the third being the dawn leg.
Of course this all depends on the speed, or otherwise, of those running the early legs and the time of the start.
In the past two years, a second race, the ‘day break’ relay has been added, consisting of 4 legs ; Red – Orange – Yellow – Red, and aiming to start as the sun rises. It’s aim is to provide a chance for the smaller clubs with limited junior runners a chance to also compete.
This year’s Peter Palmer was hosted jointly by the SAXONS and Southdowns clubs on Hindleap Warren near East Grinstead in Sussex.
HH entered two teams, one in each relay.
Here is Francesca’s description of what went on:
This year we participated in the Peter Palmer relays at Ashdown Forest, it was a fun experience for the whole team. We spent the evening hanging out playing card games in the school gym along with a team meeting over dinner. The morning of the relay we woke up at 4am to cheer Alex on for the mass start against 21 other teams. As the morning continued we enjoyed the rocking tunes and free breakfast as one after another we handed over to the next runner. With some of second team participating in the dawn relay allowing them to experience the fun of the event without having the challenge of running a night leg. Overall it was a really fun experience and I would definitely recommend it to our new juniors to participate in next year as it is great fun and makes everyone feel like a real member of the team.
As Francesca says it’s a great way to get involved in Relay running and to meet other club members.
Maybe more of you would like to try it!