A UK designed baton on a 3,300 mile journey across the USA

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Today marks day 14 of the 23 day, 3,300 mile non-stop running relay from LA to Boston, which features a baton designed and prototyped in the UK.

The One Run for Boston race was hatched up by three friends in the UK who were horrified by the Boston Marathon bombing earlier this year. They wanted to organise an event that would enable them to raise money for One Fund Boston, the charity helping those affected by the bombing.

“One Run For Boston is a chance for runners to come together and show solidarity in a really dynamic way. To be part of something remarkable, to demonstrate the strength of human spirit and send a powerful message of support to the city of Boston and those whose lives were changed on 15 April,” says Kate Treleaven, who organised the event together with Danny Bent and Jamie Hay.

The trio chose dates and mapped out a route. Their aim was to divide the route into 319 separate stages with participating runners either paying $50 for themselves or $25 for a team. The distance they run could be anywhere from five to 26 miles. So far 1,565 runners have signed up and raised over $60,606.

The baton itself was designed by Jon Parlby, a Plymouth University 3D Product Design student, who drew inspiration from the lily flower, a symbol of sympathy, passion and hope.

Designer Jon Pardy with organiser Danny Bent


Warwickshire-based prototyping company Malcolm Nicholls Limited (MNL) then brought the 460mm tall concept to life, choosing to donate their time and expertise to this worthy cause.

The baton was originally produced using one of MNL’s oldest 3D printers – the SLA500 stereolithography machine – which was installed in 1996 and is still in perfect working condition with its 508 x 508 x 580mm build envelope.

However, as reserve batons would be required, MNL decided to go down the tooling and casting route. So, the SLA components were hand finished and then used as masters for silicone tooling. The materials for the tooling and castings were generously donated by Mouldlife – Transil 40-1 for the tooling and pro-clear 70 for the castings. Four batons were produced in total.

Silicone tool showing how the tool would split open to reveal the PU casting

Each baton is fitted with a GPS Ninja Tracking device, which updates its location every 15 minutes. The organisers will be running and driving parts of the relay posting daily updates and photos to their twitter account and facebook page.

“We’ve received incredible support from runners, businesses and the odd celebrity. We’ve seen some amazing stories from runners uniting to make this event happen and had tweets from Kevin Spacey and Al Rocker. We’re hoping to receive more national news coverage to really raise awareness of this epic relay,” says Jamie Hay.

Organiser Danny Bent high fiving one of the relay runners

The relay is scheduled to reach Boston at 8pm on Sunday 30 June.

Jon Pardy’s baton design can be seen at the annual Arts Degree Showcase, which is currently taking place at Plymouth University until Saturday 26 June.

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