Women’s Northern 6 Stage Road Relays - March 21st
The week before the race contained the usual problems of injuries and illness among the athletes for Team Managers Alison Pye and Joanne Street but both had a steely determination to ensure that on home soil SHM's ladies would turn out three full teams for this special Centenary 6 Stage Relays.
The day started promisingly with the sun out and a feel of spring in the air which surely helped Dave Rodgers and his gang of volunteers to do their jobs with a smile. Alison and Jo were ably assisted by Lauren Davies who organised the athletes and helped keep Eric Hughes calm. Lora Blann and Vicky Cordingley also helped by offering their support to the team and both looked radiant with their matching bumps - let's hope they're back training in time for the autumn 4 stage relays!
The A team was missing a few of its regular athletes due to illness and injury but still managed to put in a strong performance on the day. Jenna Hill (17.43) took first leg in her stride to hand over to Hannah Griffiths in 10th position. Hannah (19.09), who is just coming back to fitness after an injury, had a decent run and handed over to Cara Kavanagh (20.00) in 12th who passed to Ruth Watson in 14th. Ruth (18.33) proved that the long drive from Peterborough yet again had not tired her legs and made up 4 places before passing to Rachel Deegan in 10th position. Rachel (17.29) put in the teams best performance and only narrowly missed out on a top 10 fastest lap placing to make up another 5 positions. Jan Nicholls (20.16), who had stepped up to the A Team at the last minute, then had the unenviable task of clinging on as best she could. She did so superbly, losing only 2 places and bringing the team home in a respectable 7th place. Well done the A Team!
The B team's first three legs all saw road relay newcomers make confident debuts. Jo Robbins (20.38) put her marathon training fitness to work in the fast and furious first leg before handing over in 26th position. Morag MacNiven (20.35) made up four places to hand over in 22nd. Rose Blackburn (19.54) had the B team's best run, making up a further 3 places and proving she should have had a spot in the A team to boot! Sian Holland (20.21) also used her FLM fitness to good effect to make up another one place. Jackie Cordingley (21.14), now a road relay regular, used her experience to chip away a further position before handing over for the last leg. Jo Street (21.00) proved she's managed a bit of running as well as studying recently and made up another 2 places to bring the team home in 15th place. All the B team took pleasure in beating local rivals' Trafford's B team and both Salford and Stockport's A team's - well done girls!
The C team had its own lucky charm in the form a special Sale Harriers jumper (thanks Morris!) which was modelled throughout the day by Catherine Jones. Lynda Rowlinson (21.38) capably took on the pressure of first leg and brought the team round in 29th position. Jenny Flanagan (23.40), sported an interesting tan and 'ski legs' but still made up a place for the team. Alison Hird (22.23) made her road relays debut and took a further 2 places to hand over in 26th. Alison Pye (21.19) had the team's best run and maintained position before handing to Katie Reece (23.04) who also made her road relay debut and held on to 26th position. Cat Jones (22.44) got her 'race face' on and made up 2 places before bringing the team home in 24th place. Well done girls on being the only complete SHM ladies C team in recent history and beating Stockport's B team in the process.
Posted 15/01/2012 12:57