GUTSY Kinver firefighter Jim McParland will be following in the wake of the Olympic flame by taking part in an alternative cross country charity event dubbed the 'Real Relay'.

Jim is one of hundreds of runners taking part in an ambitious attempt, organised by Endurancelife, to follow the entire 8,000-mile route of the official Olympic torch around the British Isles in one non-stop journey.

Ten days behind the official Olympic torch relay, the event began at Land’s End at midnight on Monday May 28 and it is scheduled to wind up in London in time for the Olympic Games opening ceremony.

Father-of-two Jim, aged 39, who took part in the four marathon Endurancelife Coastal Trail earlier this year, will be running around 12 miles to the Bullring in Birmingham, starting out at 2.15pm on Thursday July 5 from Dudley's Black Country Living Museum.

He said: “I think it’s a great idea. It’s just ordinary people, all amateur athletes, just running this baton all round the UK. It’s all unsupported; there’s no corporate sponsorship. Someone just came up with the idea after seeing the Olympic flame arrive in the UK.”

The official charity of the Real Relay is CHICKS, which provides respite breaks for disadvantaged kids.People can make a donation, or follow the baton - which is fitted with GPS - by logging onto