The 41st Annual CERN Relay Race was held on the Meyrin site on 19 May. A record number of participants took part in the event – with 106 teams in total, each consisting of six runners – which was organised by the CERN running club.
The route, weaving in and out of the buildings of CERN, covered routes Curie, Bakker, Wu, Pauli, Einstein, Arago, Powell, Gregory, Feynman, Weisskopf, Bloch and Bohr – the scientifically named streets inside of CERN – divided into six stages of 1000, 800, 800, 500, 500 and 300 metres.
Ian RandallALICE's Jean-Pierre Revol running in the race
This year marked the first time that this particular course was tread - with the path from previous years now blocked by the extension of the tramlines up to CERN.
Prizes were given out under various categories – such as the top male runner, top female runner and the department challenge: in which the department that puts forward the most runners wins (the DGS this year) – with every runner given a souvenir prize to mark the occasion.
A number of the teams were running to support various charities – and, in addition, a percentage of the registration fee for the event was donated to Courir...Ensemble, a charity which supports children suffering from cancer.
Ian RandallTeam 57 - the ALICE Hard Probes
ALICE was represented at the event in the form of team 57 - the ‘ALICE Hard Probes’ – consisting of Daniel “The Mexican Bolt” Mayani, Guillermo Tejeda Munoz, Jean-Pierre Revol, Hermes Leon Vargas, Antonio Ortiz Velasquez and Michael “The German Jet” Weber. Before the race, the team said that they had been training hard, and that they were very excited about running.
“It’s more for fun and charity than to win,” the ALICE Hard Probes said, adding: “We’re hoping to represent ALICE the best we can.”
As if sprinting around the main site wasn’t enough – respect is certainly due to team 72, the CERN Fire Brigade, who turned up for the race in full uniform: exchanging the relay baton instead for a fire extinguisher.
“We run to show CERN our fire fighters,” said Rui Lopes, a member of the brigade that took part in the race. He added: “We don’t run for the competition, we run for the fun of it.”
Aidan Randle-CondeThe CERN fire brigade ran - in full uniform
The Relay Race is one of the largest events on the CERN social calendar - and many of CERN’s various clubs and societies take the chance each year to showcase themselves to the public – pitching camp on the lawn in front of R1, alongside the winners’ podium, the refreshment tents and the bandstand – from which the CERN Jazz and Music clubs provided entertainment.
“This is the only time that we have a chance to show our club to the general CERN population,” said Rob Lambert, the president of the CERN games club – who had set up a stall showcasing their activities at the race.
“The games club was one of the first clubs at CERN; we had a resurgence last year and now we have 150 [people] on our mailing list and 20 regular members.” The games club meets each Sunday afternoon to enjoy a variety of board games – from Go, to the club favourite, Battlestar Galactica.
For the full results of the 2011 CERN Relay Race, please visit the CERN running club website.