It was anotherr sunny day for the Midlands Road Relays in Sutton Park, a fixture which always seems to bring the best weather.
The men were looking to defend the title they won last year and the A team was a strong team so hopes were high.
First off on leg one was James Vaughan who ran solid leg in 18.25 to bring the team home in 15th place. He handed over to Dominic Smith who had a great run coming home in 5th place in a time of 18.01. Ed Banks then moved up another place to finish in 4th posting a time of 18.07.
The second half of the race saw Birchfield remain in contentiotn as Jason Bennet ran a solid 18.12 to put the team in 5th place. All was looking good as top runner Omar Ahmed took off after the leading teams. At half was through his leg he was still in 5th place but a great performance on the second half of his leg an the fastest leg of the day for a tine of 16.52, he brought the team home in first place with a three second lead.
The final leg by Kadar Omar in a time of 17.12, the second fastest leg of the day meant the team finished in the top spot, almost a minute ahead of the team in second.
The B team also put on a strong performance and the 25th place meant the Stags quaified two teams for the national relays in two weeks time. First off on leg one was Matt Scarsbrook who ran solid leg in 18.20 to bring the team home in 11th place. Dan Swain was on second leg and although feeling a bit under the weather came home in 14th with a time of . He handed over to Shaun Evans who made up two places to finish in 12th posting a time of 19.14.
Next to go was the ever reliable Orlando Corea in a time of 19.35 to put the team in 15th with two legs to go. Daniel Ullah was on 5th leg and his time of 20.58 meant he finished in 20th place. The final athlete was Luca Bradley in his first senior relay who posted a creditable time of 20.38 to bring the team home in 24th place.
We were able to field three teams in the event and the C team was:
Thomas Smith (21.26), Jonathan Bradford (19.17) Jonathan Estridge (21.00), Jan Malecki (21.05), Andrew Jacobs (23.00) and Dave Ellis (27.47). The team finished in 70th place.
There was an excellent turn out for the women's race with 84 women’s teams and 10 incomplete.
The Senior Ladies team finished with silver medals so mirrored their performance from last year.
Leg 1 Becky Straw was making her comeback after injury, again, and with only one decent session under her belt brought us back in 7th place with a time of 15:26. Next to go was Rae Nicholls who swapped last weeks half marathon for a shorter test and gained a place to come in 6th with a time of 16:09.
On Leg 3 Lizzie Watters held that position with a time of 16:09 before handing over to Bryony Gunn on the last leg. When Bryony went out it looked a lost cause but despite many self doubts due to lack of competition she stormed round in the second quickest time of the day to bring us back in 2nd place.
Leg 1 Every Debutant deserves a special mention and Meghan Beesley certainly does, World champs indoors and out, Olympian and mother of 8 month old son Logan. Making a comeback in a proper event ran a very creditable 16:50 to bring the B team back in 26th.
Leg 2 Susie McManus said she was fit but not how fit, she ran 15:50 and took 14 places to come back in 12th
Leg 3 Victoria Weir didn’t go to the Olympics but this was her debut and what a super Lady she is. She gained another 3 places to 9th with a time of 16:32
Leg 4 Samantha Watters is long term Birchfield and a good thing that is. She closed the team in 12th place with a time of 17:53
Total time 1:07:05
The time keepers screwed this one up by not picking up Sara McNamee going out and giving Sarah Conway a time I could’ve just about managed, however these are the times.
Leg 1 the last but by no means least the splendidly named Hana Maria Salah Mehager who is 17 and I now have the pleasure of coaching, on her debut she ran 17:29
Leg 2 Danel Jansen Van Rensburg ran 17:37
Leg 3 Sarah Conway ran 17:59 allegedly
Leg 4 Sara McNamee (Ellen) ran 20:53.
Thanks to Keith and Ash Burgess for helping us with the beastly tent and Senior management for giving out the