8 runners, 4 legs, 2 teams and a Border Collie who started it all

On 1st September, two teams will be heading to London to run the Big Relay and raise funds to support the Canine Genetics Centre and its idiopathic epilepsy (IE) research. One team, who came up with the idea, was inspired by a Border Collie named Buddy; the second team is made up of CGC researchers who are eager to support the cause.

Buddy was only two years old when he sadly passed away, nine months after his diagnosis with IE in 2022. “Buddy was an incredibly sweet, sensitive, goofy, loving dog,” said his owner Eloise Wells, “and I wanted to honour his memory and help other families with dogs who are coping with this condition by raising awareness and funding for this research.”

When Eloise told her moving story to Jim at the CGC, and explained they would be running London’s Big Relay to raise funds to support epilepsy research, it was clear they needed to join forces. “We had several eager volunteers,” said Jim, “but there can only be four in a team and so joining me will be Sally, Cathryn and Bryan.”

The Big Relay, follows the same route as the London half marathon, splitting the distance into four 5K legs, going from Tower Bridge to the Cutty Sark in Greenwich. A festival atmosphere is guaranteed and the event is well known for attracting runners of all abilities and ages. In this spirit, the eight runners in our two teams include some first-time racers, several doing the Couch to 5K plan, as well as one or two hardened veterans.

Follow updates from the two teams on CGC’s social media as our eight intrepid runners get stuck into their training schedules, accompanied by several canine companions, and please help us raise funds for IE research on our JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/page/cgc-epilepsy-bigrelay