King Henry VIII Relay Race

About the races

Since 1972 King Henry VIII School in Coventry has hosted what is now regarded by many as the best inter-schools Cross Country Relay Race in the UK.  We are very proud of our race!  Chip timing was introduced in 2015 providing quick, accurate results alongside a UKA trained timekeeper to ensure a fail-safe system.

Boys and girls compete in their own categories: the Boys’ Race is 6 x 2.3 miles; the Girls’ Race is 4 x 2.3 miles.  The course is over pavement, grass, woodland – and quite a few puddles – and is largely flat with no significant elevation.  Schools should enter their best runners, regardless of their age, although this will usually include means predominantly runners in the Sixth Form.

History & Previous Results

The race has a strong legacy, boasting former competitors of the calibre of Seb Coe, Alistair & Jonathan Brownlee, and Richard Nerurkar. To see previous years’ results and read the race reports please use the links on the right hand side of this page.

Entry Requirements

Next year’s race will take place on Wednesday 6th February 2019, starting in the War Memorial Park, Coventry at 2:30pm.  If you would like your school to enter a team, please click the link below to fill in your details. This is an over-subscribed race and so we ask that teams meet a qualifying standard (in your own estimation) of the following:

Boys’ teams should be capable of finishing the 6 x 2.3 mile course in about 90 minutes.

Girls’ teams should be capable of finishing the 4 x 2.3 mile course in about 72 minutes.

Award Ceremony

Prizes are awarded for a variety of categories, and every year sees a different guest presenter with a history of excellence in the athletics field, in competing, coaching or as an ambassador for the sport.  The KHVIII Cups will be awarded to the winning teams. For the boys’ teams the JB Vent Cup, LJ Wrench Cup and Matthew Lee Cup will be awarded to the second, third and fourth placed teams. The John Vickers Cup will be awarded to the most improved boys team. Medals will be presented to the members of the first four teams, and cloth badges to members of the first ten teams. Individual times from a relay-chip should be available at the presentation ceremony after the race and emailed after the event.  In the girls’ race the Philip Mahiques Cup is awarded to the second placed team, and the Pat Head Cup to the third placed girls’ team. Medals and cloth badges will be presented to the members of the first five teams. For both races plaques will be awarded to the runners of the three fastest lap times.

2018 Race

Last years' race took place on Wednesday 7th February 2018, with year 77 teams attended from as far and wide as Cumbria, Kent and Somerset.

In the boys’ race The Judd School, Kent, came 1st in a remarkable 72 minutes and 16 seconds for the six-leg relay, the fastest time in 13 years. Ricky Lutakome (GB U20 cross country team member, from John Fisher School) finished his 2.3 mile leg of the run in a fantastic 11 minutes 10 seconds—three seconds faster than Andrew Brownlee, when he competed here in 2006!

The Girls Race saw a very convincing win from Sevenoaks School, also from Kent, who led from the start with captain Phoebe Barker, a GB Junior International athlete. They finished in an impressive time of 55 minutes and 22 seconds.

The world class 800+ marathoner Steve Edwards, a Coventry man who first competed in the city’s inaugural marathon back in 1981, was the guest speaker at the race. Edwards awarded the prizes and spoke to the young athletes, encouraging them to keep training hard, and perhaps, like him, even to set a few world records.

Relay Race 2018 Programme

Boys Relay Race Results 2018

Girls Relay Race Results 2018

Visit our gallery for more photos from the day.

Full Race Report 2018

Teaching Staff

Mr T Andrews is in charge of the annual King Henry VIII Relay Race.

Mr P Robbins is in charge of the Cross Country team at the school.


Mr T Andrews

How to enter

Please click on the link below to fill out an entry form. We ask for a contribution towards the cost of putting on this event, of £5.50 per runner (B-teams are discounted). Please be aware of the entry requirements (see above). 

Application Form

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