Three years of waiting for the Spring Road Relays in Sutton Park meant many athletes were looking forward to the event and we were blessed with lovely weather. After winning almost unopposed for a good few years we were reminded that nothing stays the same forever and it turned out that there were four or five teams vying for medals.
Bryony Gunn was our first runner on leg one on the 5 mile plus long leg. She soon found out that she wasn’t feeling at her best but was able to keep the team in a good position coming back in 31:17 in 5th place just 15 seconds from the lead.
Carli Baldwin was on second leg, the first of the short legs and she managed to gain a place with a fine run in 19:01.
Leg 3 is another long leg and Corporal Jessie Lutwyche was a little weary after all her recent army duties but still produced a solid run in 32:30 keeping the team in 4th place.
Becky Straw was on fourth leg and in her first race for two and a half years gave a solid performance despite a bad stitch held on to 4th place in 19:12.
Susie McManus, also produced a fine run to hold on to 4th place in a time of 19:16.
Finallly, SAC Chloe Richardson of the RAF who had travelled up from Brize Norton showed her class producing the second quickest short leg of the day in 17:25 pulling back a decent deficit to gain 3rd place and Bronze medals by seventy one seconds.
The B team also acquitted themselved well finishing in 14th place.
B Team 13th 2:35:17
Leg 1 Lizzie Watters 33:40
Leg 2 Rae Nicholls 19:54
Leg 3 Frances Vickers 34:41
Leg 4 Sam Watters 22:45
Leg 5 Esther Hunt 21:35
Leg 6 Laura Hopcroft 22:42
Some late drop outs of some of our best runners was a disappointment but the team was still hopefull of being in the medals. The Men run 12 stages so it is a long day for the team manager and organisers.
Ed Banks had a great first leg to come home in second position running a long leg in 26.48. He was followed by Max Wall (28.12), Jason Bennet (29.30) and Omar Ahmed whose 25.30 long leg was the fastest long leg of the day. The following eight runners were all running short legs and after Omar made up five places to finish in third it was down to the rest of the runners to maintain that position. Dan Swain was the first of the short legs and ran well to record a time of 16.09. Next to go was Joseph Heathcock (15.19) followed by Orlando Corea (16.40) and Matt Scarisbrook who ran an excellent leg og 15.57. The team was still in third and Dominic Smith (16.27), Alex Tovey (16.23) and Jonathan Bradford (16.13) kept the position leaving it to team manager Andy Peat to secure the bronze medal which he duly did runnning 16.29.
It was an all round good performance and the team went home happy
Unfortunately the officials had somewhat of a day day for the young athletes 5km championhips. Despite sending out a course map a loop was taken out for the U13s and U15 race which meant the course was very short and less than the normal road relay course.
In the U13 age group we had one athlete Seb Grant who ran well to finish 10th. Ash Burgess who was looking for a good 5km time was disappointed to be running a shorter distance but he went out strongly and came home in first place. The U15 team collectively had a good day with Charlie Smith 7th and Jesse Bradley 17th the team finished in second place. There was only one girl on the U15 girls race and Cassie Pearson was surprised to be finishing so quickly and had paced herself for 5km so wasn't happy with her time.
The U17 men did actually run 5km as the officials reinstated the loop needed to make the course 5km. The team came out on top with Findlay White 7th, Tyler Hawley 8th and Jan Malecki 17th.