Another sunny day in Sutton Park saw all ages competing in the ERRA National Road Relay Championships.
The highlight of the day was the success of the U15 boys who, after winning the Midlands championships two weeks ago, showed what a strong team they are by winning the national title. In the same order as the Midlands Charlie Smith led the team off running a very measured race to ensure the team was in a good position after the first leg. His time of 13mins was some 20 seconds faster than he ran two weeks previously. Oliver Cresswell was next to go and he also ran over 20 seconds quicker than he did in the Midlands so put the team into first place going into the last leg. The pressure was then on Ash Burgess to have another strong performance to bring the team home. He ran his leg in a very mature way. Although he was passed on the course by the athlete who started in second position, he sat closely behind him until the final hill where he out kicked him to win by five seconds. His time of 12.27 was the third fastest overall.
This was a fantastic achievement and one that had not happenned before and these young athletes should be very proud of becominng national champions.
The U15 boys B team also ran well with every athlete running quicker than they did in the Midlands. They finished in 38th with Thomas Adams 14:38 Simeon Swain 14:50 and Jailan Sohna 14:59. The lone C team runner was Ahmad Muhammadbilal 14:07
With several drops out and top runner Chloe Richardson having run the London Marathon the week before the expectation was not high for the senior women. However they all ran very well to finish in sixth place out of 63 teams. The team was Bryony Gunn 14:17, the sixth fastest overall, Hannah Robinson 15:27 Ella Shirley 16:03 and Naomi Collier 15.20. Birchfield also fielded a B and a C team. The B team was Lizzie Watters 17:41 Victoria Bradbury 16:31 Danelle Rensberg 18:29 Frances Vickers 17:02 and the C team was Sarah Conway 17:47 Laura Hopcroft 18:37 Salihah Baig 19:55 4 Robyn Mcdowall 20:26.
The senior men also had some last minute changes and put their top runners on the latter legs of the race. Depsite their valiant efforts they were not able to make up the gap and the team just missed a medal by finishing in fourth place. The A team was led off by Shaun Evans whose time of 17:33 was 30 seconds quicker than the Midlands,. Alex Tovey 18:01 and Ed Banks 18.00 also ran faster that they did two weeks previously. Fourth leg runner Kadar Omar made up several places in a fast time of 16:58, Will Richardson 17.17 then followed again with a quicker time than he had run previously and handed onto to Omar Ahmed 16:47, who despite running the third fastest leg on the day could not catch the third placed runner to secure a podium position.
The B team runners also ran well, most quicker that their previous outing on the course. Jason Bennett 18:39 Dominic Smith 19:25 Daniel Swain 19:04 Joseph Heathcock 19:36 Alex Jolly 19:55 and Chris Djiala 21:51 made up the team.
In addition to the successful U15 Boys teams Birchfield had several young athletes teams across the age gorups.
The U15 girls were 33rd with Kiera Nee 15:37 Emily Symes 15:26 and Jenny O’rourke 17:14. The U17 women were 22nd with Amy Harland 15:18 H Mehager 15:25 and Olivia Scott 15:56. Finally the U17 Men were 34th the team being Tyler Hawley 12:50 Luca Bradley 13:22 and Max Chappelle 13:49.
It was a great day all round and a fantastic start to the road and cross country season