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  Relaying the Games message
Updated 16 July 2002, 16.45
Sir Steve Redgrave
An event spanning the globe has entered the home stretch of its marathon tour of 23 Commonwealth countries.

The Queen's Jubilee Baton Relay, the equivalent of the famous Olympic Torch journey, passed the halfway mark of its 50-day trip across the UK.

Baton has travelled 60,000 miles

Over four months, the hi-tech baton - containing the message the Queen will read out at the opening ceremony in Manchester - has travelled a total of about 60,000 miles.

Fact File
Jubilee baton relay
Start: 11 March, Buckingham Palace
Finish: 25 July, City of Manchester Stadium
World tour: 23 countries, 59,000 miles
UK leg: N Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Channel Islands over 50 days
Runners: 5,000 individuals taking part

Those who have carried the baton so far include paralympian gold medallist Tanni Grey-Thompson, football legend Sir Geoff Hurst and Olympic rower Sir Steve Redgrave.

Footballing great Sir Bobby Charlton, Olympic gold medallist Denise Lewis and funny man Johnny Vegas are among those who will take part in the event over the remaining days.

The Queen
The Queen started the baton relay
So far the UK relay has travelled across Scotland, the Isle of Man, Guernsey, Jersey, the south coast of England, east England and the Midlands.

The Queen, who is celebrating her Golden Jubilee, helped send the baton on its way from Buckingham Palace on Commonwealth Day back in March.

Along the whole route, various forms of transport have been organised, including train, horse, canal boat, hovercraft, milk float and even a really old penny farthing bike.


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