NORTHERN 12 & 6 STAGE RELAYS
JAMES BAILEY & HELEN ARMITAGE
Over the weekend saw the annual event of the Northern 12 & 6 stage road relay championships at Sefton Park in Liverpool.
The senior men’s team were able to pull together two teams in what is always a well attended event. The A team was able to finish a very credible 4th position with the B team, which was in essence a veteran team, other than a couple of members, finished 34th. However this was only half the story.
Fresh from their Wilmslow Half marathon exploits the previous week, Nigel Martin and Olivier Gaillemin had the honour of the first leg. On a high quality leg, Nigel cam home in 17th with Olivier 53rd.
Luke Betts, who has had recent success indoors, and Glen Savage then took over for the first short leg, Luke cut through the field taking 6 places and pulling the team up to 11th, Glen was able to hold the position of the B team.
The next long leg was given the pleasure of Dave Marsh and Phil Scowcroft. Dave was able to hold the 11th place for the A team while Phil moved the B team up 7 places to 46th.
Relative new comer Jake Shackleford had the next short leg for the A team while club stalwart Rob Flannery was out for the B. Jake had quite a competitive leg and came back in 12th while Rob pulled the team up a further 2 places to 44th.
James Wignall and Carl Barber were the next out on the course, James pulled the team back into 11th place while Carl maintained the B teams position. Nottingham Student Alex Bradford was next up for the A team with Paul Barrett taking the reins for the B. Alex pulled the team into the Top 10 for the first time while Paul kept the firm grip on 44th.
The last long leg of the day was left to Antony Ford and Kevin Foster. Antony ran the fastest long leg of the team and in doing so took 4 places bringing the A team back in 6th place. Kevin managed to come home a further two places up in 42nd place.
On Leg 8 was Jamie Roden and Mike Wharton, Jamie who has been in great form recently, ran the quickest short leg of the day and also 4th overall and came home in 5th. Mike who is just coming back from injury brought the B team back in 44th.
Alan White and Gary Rowlinson were out on leg 9, both runners had had self proclaimed "bad days" at the National Cross country earlier in the year (Alan ran 8k with one shoe) but they made up for it today with Alan maintaining the 5th position and Gary pulling back 4 places.
James Bailey and Steven Townley had leg 10 of 12, while James strengthened the hold on 5th position Steven took 3 places coming back in 37th.
11th leg was then passed to David Rich and Aidan Raftery, with the gaps fairly large at the front end of the race David maintained the teams 5th position while Aidan came home in 38th place.
Last leg was given to track team manager Dean Hardman and Stephen Parry. Dean brought the team home in 5th place with Stephen coming home in 35th... or so we thought!
What we were not aware of was the fact that at the front of the race the leaders Liverpool, who had a 90 second lead, had had a small incident. Their final runner had become (unbelievably) hopelessly lost (on his home course) and had not finished meaning that all the teams had been promoted an additional place. This meant that the A team finished in a surprise 4th place and the B team 34th.
The A team has now qualified for the National event in 2 weeks time and with a number of runners returning to the team the hope will be for a similar result on the national stage.
In the women’s team, Sarah Douglas had a solid run on first leg, although she hoped for slightly faster, she still had last week’s excellent PB run at Wilmslow in her legs. She handed over in 14th place out of the 61 teams - giving her the 27th fastest long leg of the day.
Jenna Hill produced the second fastest short leg of the day - behind Morpeth Harrier and GB international Laura Weightman. Jenna's superb 12:59 over the 2.4 mile course would have put her in most men's teams on the day! Storming through the field, she handed over to Alison Pye in 6th position. Alison was really pleased with her performance - her best since having baby Ewan - and she held on to pass over in 10th.
Luisa Candioli who is returning to form after a slight foot injury had an excellent run gaining another position, which gave her 22nd fastest from the 122 long leg runners. Lynda Rowlinson and Jan Nicholls maintained the teams position on the 5th and 6th legs and bought the team home in 10th position overall.
Leeds city with team members including Emma Clayton, Susan Partridge and Rachael Bamford, were the clear winners with a win of over 4mins 20 over Stockport Harriers in second.
Many thanks to all the men and women who competed on the day.
Posted 30/03/2015 10:21