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Much Wenlock to Congleton Relay

Britain’s first female Olympic track Gold medallist, Ann Packer, will be at the start and finish of the 60 mile relay between Much Wenlock in Shropshire and her home town of Congleton in Cheshire. The relay takes place on the 2nd January and marks the start of the Olympic year for these two ambitious towns.

Sixteen runners from Congleton will take part in the relay, carrying a special message of goodwill to the town of Congleton from both Lord Sebastian Coe and from the Mayor of Much Wenlock, famed for being the birthplace of the modern Games.

The Mayor of Mych Wenlock, Cllr Lesley Durbin and former Olympic champion Ann Packer will start the race at 7.30am from Holy Trinity Church in Much Wenlock, the resting place of the Olympic founder Dr William Penny-Brookes. It is expected to take eight hours to reach Congleton, with each of the runners carrying the baton for four miles.

The idea for the relay came form Ann’s husband, Robbie Brightwell. Mr Bright was the former captain of the British Olympic team and holds Olympic, Commonwealth and European medals. Ann is president and Robbie Vice President of a community group called Team Congleton, which has organised a packed programme of cultural and sporting events to help Congleton ’embrace the games’.

Mr Brightwell said “Having the Olympics held in our Country is probably a once in a life-time experience and we are determined to celebrate it in style. We salute Much Wenlock for holding Games since 1850 and thought this 60 mile endurance runwould embody the spirit, challenge and camaraderie of the Olympic Games adn was a great way to kick-start the town’s Olympic year.”

The runners are expected to arrive in Congleton at approximately 3.00pm where they will be met by Congleton Town Mayor Cllr David Martin, Fiona Bruce MP and other local representatives. The Town Crier, Cllr Douglas Parker, will read the messages from the Mayor of Much Wenlock and Lord Sebastion Coe.

For further information contact Jackie MacArthur , Congleton Town Council on 01260 270350 or Ann Packer (now Brightwell) or Robbie Brightwell on 01260 275735