On Friday 5 October a relay team from Giessen, Germany – one of Winchester’s twin towns – completed their gruelling Giessen to Winchester running relay, arriving in Abbey Gardens to be welcomed by the Mayor of Winchester, Councillor Frank Pearson.
The 23 runners ran over 800km from Giessen to Winchester over nine days, completing between 10km and 20km each day. Their route took them through Holland, Belgium and France before their final stretch along the South Downs Way and into Winchester.
They were joined for the last 20km by members of the Winchester and District Running Club (WADAC) and by participants of Winchester’s weekly parkrun. The Giessen runners were also welcomed to the Winchester Parkrun on Saturday 6 October to help celebrate the 14th anniversary of Parkrun UK.
The runners were treated to a buffet reception in the Guildhall, hosted by the Mayor, who said:
It was an honour to welcome these fantastic guests into our city at the end of an impressive 835km run. It is particularly special that they originate from our German twin town of Giessen – a relationship we have been very proud of since 1962. We hope they enjoy the wonderful sights that Winchester has to offer and we wish them a safe onward journey home.