National Road Relays 2013
A RELAY BUSY WEEKEND!
All roads led to Birmingham at the weekend for the National Road Relay Championships. On Saturday, a hundred of the nation's club's from Aldershot to Woodford Green converged on Sutton Park, the traditional Mecca of the National Road Relay Championships for the 12 and 6-stage Championships for senior men and women. The championship doubled this year for the Northern Relay Championships cancelled two weeks earlier because of the unprecedented early Spring snow in Blackpool. On Sunday, it was the club's younger age-groups that entered the same national cauldron.
Sale had two senior men's teams. Going out on first leg was a recently returning from his travels James Bailey who launched the A team and Richard Edwards for the B. James brought back the team in 39th place, down on his time last year but to be expected. Richard came home in 74th which was a great effort after suffering from a heavy cold in the days leading up to the event. Making his debut on the second leg was young Ryan Moore and for the B was London marathon bound Oliver Gaillemin. Ryan ran a god leg and brought the team back in 32nd place. Oliver also ran a solid leg gaining retaining the 74th place. Out 3rd for the A, after his recent PB in Wilmslow half marathon, was Callum Rowlinson and for the B was Nigel Martin. Callum found the second half race tough, as did most with its uphill profile and into the wind, but still managed to bring the team back in 44th place. Nigel ran a solid leg picking off 3 runners and coming back in 71st place.
Out next for the A team was a returning to fitness Jamie Roden and young Kyle Conway for the B team. Jamie ran a measured leg picking up 9 places and finishing just outside 15 min. Kyle also enjoyed a solid leg coming home in 70th. Paul Green and Carl Barber were then tasked with the next long leg and although Paul stated he found it tough, he ran a leg that didn't show finishing in 36th. Carl, while put off by the wind and now light rain, ran a good leg bringing the team in 69th. After an impressive winter, Charlie Hulson was out 6th leg and Paul Barrett took on the short leg. Charlie ran an exceptional leg picking up 9 places while also running the quickest short leg from the North region. Paul, as always gave his all, and consolidated the B team in 69th at the half way stage.
Phillip Tedd and Dave Marsh took on the 7th leg, with Phillip running the second quickest long leg of the team finishing in 23rd place. Dave, who had also been suffering from illness earlier in the week, finished the leg in 70th place. 8th leg saw Gavin Hill and Peter O'Neill out round the park. This was Gavin's first race since late 2012 and his 15 minute clocking looked as though he's back to form. Locally based Peter stepped up and performed well in the deteriorating conditions, picking up 2 further places Dan Whittaker, a last minute call up to the A, was out on the next long leg, with Nicholas Whittle also competing for the B. Dan unfortunately suffered a stitch but battled through. Nicholas enjoyed a good leg coming back in 68th place. Kenyan returner Ryan Worland took the 10th leg for the A and David Rich for the B. Ryan took two places and closed a large gap to a group of runners ahead of him even if he suffered 'marathon legs' up the final hill. David ran extremely well clocking 16:39, picking up a further place making headway into the teams ahead.
Stalwart Rob Flannery went out on the final long leg with Alex Bradford (also a late call up) out for the B. Both had good runs bringing the team home in 29th and 66th respectively. Final leg duties went to BAL manager Dean Hardman and last minute step in Tim Rainey. After recovering from ankle troubles Dean was pleased with his leg only slightly slower than his time last year. Tim took it upon himself to battle the athletes around him and even provided a sprint finish for the crowds. The final position for the A team was 28th and 65th for the B team.
The results have to be put into context with a large number of athletes unavailable due to injuries and illnesses, however that said the effort put in by all the athletes that competed was second to none and we can look for another good outing when the road relay season kicks in again later this year.
Our women finished ninth in the Northern Championships. That was their best performances for several years. All had solid performances beginning from in-form Helen Armitage who launched the campaign through to promising newcomer Rachael Chambers; Cara O'Brien returning to her best, Jan Nichols who was as reliable as ever Julie Price, and Jo Street who anchored the team to ninth place their final position ranked them thirtieth nationally.
Our younger age-groups again shone. Pertinent and regularly applauded among these age-groups especially the girls is their strength, promise and potential and with a refreshing camaraderie within the group that inevitably drives competition, team loyalty and produces good results. With such strengths, a three person relay cannot do justice to the group. However, our U13 girl's finishing an 'A' and 'B' team in 10th and 11th place reflects it with only seven seconds separating both. This group has the capacity to finish even more teams in equally top positions. For the 'A' team well done to Danielle Stringer who threw down the gauntlet to get the team off to a good start; Niamh Nugent bravely ran despite not fully recovered from illness and Aine Cunningham again typically again ate up the ground to run the fifth fastest time of the day. For the 'B' team Eleanor Twite and Francesca Brint crossed the line ahead of the A team with Frankie Davis anchoring her team to the superb 11th place
Our under 15 girls also completed two teams with some of their best results in years. The trio of Aimee Pratt, Catherine Podmore and Alice Bruce were 13th and for the 'B' team Hannah Simeen, Frankie Reid and Charlie Reid ran times all within a few seconds of each other. Their 22nd place would have rewarded them with one one of the best 'A' team performances in the past decade. Likewise the boys who finished two teams! Unable to complete a team over the past five Championships, this year they finished two teams with the 'A' team of Adam Roden, Euan Gilchrist and Dylan Burchill well up in 12th and the 'B' team of Adam Kinghorn and the Spilbury twins (Adam and Jake) producing the section's best 'B' result for twenty years in 31st place.
Our under 17 girls produced their best result for a decade. Megan Davies continues to get better with ever more impressive racing. She even produced the fifth fastest leg of her age-group nationally. Irmani Modahl and Abi Fitton also had strong legs. If this group can keep working together as a team, there could be exciting times ahead for them.
Finally, congratulations and good luck to those selected to represent the North-West of England in the National Road Race championships that's part of the London mini-Marathon at the weekend. Megan Davies competes against teams from Scotland, Wales, Ireland and eight other regions in the U17's race and in the U13 girl's race, the club provides 50% of the team with Aine Cunningham, Niamh Nugent and Danielle Stringer.
(Produced by James Bailey and Fechin Mc Cormick)
Posted 24/04/2013 14:04