The Jogle is one of the toughest tests of collective endurance that could be imagined. It is a ten man relay race against the clock between John O’Groats and Land’s End requiring ten good athletes, an efficient back up team, determination and team spirit in abundance. The great Aberdeen teams of marathon and distance runners of the 1970’s and 1980’s were probably unique in numbers and quality when they tackled the event and set records. Colin Youngson ran in all three record breaking runs and his introduction to our coverage of the event is below. He remarked that the team of 1983 contained a 3:50 1500 metres guy, a 2:29 guy, a 2:21 guy plus six Scottish marathon champions and the world’s greatest ultra runner! It was probably inevitable that they got the record.
“The first attempts at setting records between John o’Groats and Land’s End occurred in the 19th Century. By 1880, both runners and cyclists succeeded in setting times between the two points. The advent of rules governing End to End attempts by the early 20th Century set the pace for the present day.
Since 1959 many teams have tackled the euphemistically abbreviated JOGLE (or LEJOG, depending on the direction chosen). For example Cambridge University broke the record at one point, and this has been written about by Roger Robinson, who used to run with Mel Edwards in the 1960’s. Roger is not only one of the very finest of athletics journalists but was also an English and later New Zealand cross-country international and a World Veteran marathon Champion.
By 1967, Reading Amateur Athletic Club, at the time European team marathon champions, broke the Jogle record in 79 hours 40 minutes. Ron McAndrew was one of their best runners.”
I’ll record the actual relays separately below for ease of access to the individual attempts and they will be in the words of several of the participants – mainly Colin Youngson but Steve Taylor is responsible for the 1973 report, Martin Walsh did the Postscript and there are contributions by Rab Heron and others.
The Links below are in chronological order from left to right and the ‘Helpful Hints’ should be read, as it was written, before the 1982 account.