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 × 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 click here.

Entry Requirements

Next year’s race will take place on Wednesday 7th February 2018, 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 6×2.3 mile course in about 90 minutes.

Girls’ teams should be capable of finishing the 4×2.3 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.

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

2017 Race

Last years' race took place on Wednesday 1st February 2017, with year 80 teams attended from as far and wide as Cumbria, Kent and Somerset. After consistently attending the race since 1975, Loughborough Grammar School were delighted to finally win the Boys Race this year – and with an outstanding finishing time, one of the fastest in the history of the race. Continuing a strong season, the team from Sevenoaks School from Kent carried off the Girls Cup in splendid style.

The 2017 Guest Speaker, Liz Yelling, has been at the forefront of British Cross Country for the last two decades, representing GB at the Athens and Beijing Olympics and winning four National Cross Country titles herself. Liz kindly awarded the prizes, and spoke inspirationally about how to persevere, bounce back from challenges and always aim high!


Relay Race Report 2017

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