A Wonderful Skyline
With the turn of spring, comes the start of the road relay events and over the weekend club members once again turn out in force for the Midlands menís 12 and womenís 6 stage relays at Sutton Coldfield.
This year saw the teams made of up a good balance, combining our experienced club runners and new members looking to enjoy their first taste of the relay event.
For the women Jill Postlethwaite started proceedings with the first of two 5.3 mile longer legs, before passing over to the Sharon McCarthy making her debut for the club on the 3.1 mile shorter route. Niamh Watson stepped in as a late replacement for the second of the long legs, followed by another debutant Kirstie Mitchell completing her impressive lap and delivering to Karen Brooks who recorded the fastest short leg of our ladies team, with Lianne Brooks bringing the club home as 32nd A team on the day in an accumulative time of 03:01:02.
Despite an improvement of over 5 minutes on last yearsí time, the menís team narrowly missed out on the opportunity to return in two weeks for the National road relays by only 3 places, completing the 12 stages in a total time of 04:54:40 for 28th fastest A team. In a slight variation to prior years formatting the longer 5.3 miles legs would be ran over the first four stages, these were ran by Matt Driver, Gareth Wood, Tom Ward & Sean Fenwick each continuing to impress following their Silverstone success. The eight remaining short legs were comprised of four newcomers to the 12 stage event, with Jamie Thompson, Gary Wallis, Jamie McAllister & Peter Attenborough all making impressive debuts, whilst the rest of the menís team were compiled of returning competitors with Kenny Anderson, Martin Gore recording the fastest short leg for the menís team, Adam Eales & Graeme Rolfe who all enjoying strong runs.
With the 12 and 6 stage relay marking the start of springs racing calendar, Sunday saw the final event in the Leicester winter road running league at Desford 5. In attendance were 5 club members with the interclub tussle continuing, following the previous events blanket finish. First club runner home was Steve King in 261st position in a time of 38:10, next home was Chris Loake in 341st, keeping Michael Donington at bay by just 10 seconds with Ray Lack a further 30 seconds behind & Amanda Scuffham keeping the guys honest in a time of 43:11.
Over a somewhat more challenging discipline, the undaunted Andrew Holt & Ben Smith took on the Edale Skyline Fell Race. The event is a category A, 21-mile-long fell race held on an unmarked course, covering high and exposed fell terrain of the high peak district where participants must demonstrate suitable experience and meet certain criteria just to be granted entry. Both runners had to battle their own dramas during the race and it was Andrew who crossed the line first in a time 04:25:22 for 182nd closely followed by Ben in 04:31:02 for 196th place.
On the Parkrun scene 21 members were in attendance at the Harborough edition where Amanda Scuffham began the first of her double header by registering a new personal best time. At the Corby edition Natalie Ives was also in fine forming knocking nearly 30 off her previous best time.
- Adam Eales.