RELAY STRONG MEN AND WOMEN
Team Managers James Bailey & Sian Rowley
With the Autumn and Winter emerging, it’s the time for the annual Northern men’s 6 stage and women’s 4 stage Road Relay Championships that, this year, were staged over a fairly familiar, spectator-friendly, flat course within an industrial estate at Birchwood, near Warrington.
Never before has a club’s senior men’s relay team turned out as many as six team, a tribute to the current depth in numbers of the endurance section. It made for a great day’s spectating as there always seemed to be a Sale vest in sight on the two lap course. The men’s team, silver medallists last year, followed this year with the bronze medals, finishing behind a strong Stockport team (who’s women also won their senior title) and Leeds teams.
A great first leg from recently turned 18 Jack Crabtree brought the team home in 3rd, Charlie Hulson improved to 1st, despite a small diversion and barrier hurdling on the second lap. Matt Barnes came home in 3rd place after being put up against strong stage runners from Leeds and Stockport. The team remained in 3rd place throughout the remaining three legs due to the solid runs from marathoner Antony Ford, James Bailey and Niall Brooks.
The B team finished 21st, ensuring qualification to the National event in Birmingham in two weeks time. Gareth Raven, on the first leg, suffered an early fall and returned bloodied but unbeaten in 26th place James Wignall improved 2 places on his leg and evergreen Paul Green caught a further two places on his leg. Nigel Martin pulled the team up to 21st and this is where the team remained, again with strong runs from Matthew Beacock and David Marsh over the last 2 legs.
The C and D team were locked in an intriguing battle throughout with two evenly matched teams and in the end it was the D team who triumphed by 16 seconds and 3 places. The D team consisted of Steven Townley, Nicholas Whittle, Andrew Mooney, Dean Hardman, Philip Scowcroft and Tim Kennedy while the C team was Alan White, Rob Falnnery, Gareth Matthews, Matthew Metcalf, Carl Barber and David Rich.The E team were also not too far behind with Tom Fordyce, Glen Savage, Elton Davies, Mike Ashby Kevin Foster and Gary Rowlinson making up the team. Their 68th position from 116 competing teams is a tribute to the club’s current depth in the endurance section.
Finally the F team finished in 102nd position with team members Francis Sweeney, Alistair Kell, Aidan Raftery, Stephen Parry, Jerry Smith and Craig Bradbury.
Many thanks to all those who competed and here's to the national ahead and a successful winter to al
Our senior women had three teams compete who finished in 11th, 29th and 45th positions from over 70 teams. Jenna Hill ran an outstanding first leg, finishing second and 7th fastest overall. Hayley Ashby, Sarah Douglas and Emma Finney all ran strongly and coped well with the pressure of running at the front of the race but couldn’t quite hold on for a top ten finish. The original line-up didn’t make it to race day, which was a shame as it would have produced, most likely, a top 6 finish.
Helen Armitage gave the B team an excellent start and was backed up by Kathy Wellam and Sian Rowley. Louise Robbins struggled with the ‘faster than my usual’ pace following her recent impressive Ironman’ challenge but still brought the team home in 29th place.
Dee McCarthy made her debut in a Sale vest and despite protestations, coped well with the leg 1 pressure for the C team. Hannah Christy stepped into the senior ranks for the first time and adapted quickly to the longer distance. Seasoned Alison Pye made her post-natal debut in a Sale vest and ran strongly and evergreen Lynda Rowlinson stepped in as super sub to complete the team in 45th place from almost seventy competing teams.
As ever, thanks to our two Sale Harrier photographers, Harry Shakeshaft and Ernie Greenwood and those others who submitted photos for the website and the club’s Facebook page. Harry Shakeshaft’s photos can be viewed and bought at www.hshhotos.co.uk and Ernie’s at http://www.darkstarphotos.com .
Posted 22/09/2014 16:11