R&R Pursuits was set up in 2016 after lifelong friends Rich and Rob finally came up with an idea to provide something different in the UK running race calendar. Rich's love of running and Rob's love of Japan meant that organising Ekiden events was always going to be the perfect idea.
Cotswold Ekiden is a relay race through beautiful English countryside with each team member running 5.5km on an undulating multi-terrain course. The difference between an Ekiden and a conventional relay race is that a sash called a tasuki is used instead of a baton.
In Japan in the olden days, items and messages were moved long distances using a relay system and ‘stations’ where the item or message could be exchanged or left for pick up by the next messenger. Ekiden races were formed to honour this age old tradition and instead of transporting an item or message the tasuki was used. This sash is worn by the runner and handed over at each changeover, with the runner typically winding it around their hand as they get closer to the handover point to make the transition easier. Whilst it does the same job as the more familiar baton used in relay races it means so much more to the runner as it represents the honour of the team and more importantly the club, university, business or region that the team represents.