Saturday 15 March 2014
The senior men’s and women’s teams performed very well to finish 10th and 7th respectively on a challenging course in Heaton Park.
Julia Jagger got the women’s team off to an excellent start with a 3rd place finish on the opening leg in 17:44. Zanthe Wray did well to hold on to the position and finished strongly in 18:37. Hannah Whitelam had to step in on the morning of the race to complete the team, not having raced for over 18 months, and came home in 10th in 20:45. Claire Robson, making a welcome return to the team, moved up to 9th with a time of 19:32. Ruth Ross ran a strong leg to move into 8th in 17:41 before Nicky Squires brought the team home in 7th with the fastest leg for the team in 17:41.
Andy Challenger set up the men’s team with a very good opening long leg, finishing 12th in 28:59. Andy Heyes produced the second fastest short leg of the day to move up to 4th with 14:27. Rob Little maintained a strong pace on the next long leg, finishing 6th in 30:26. Tom Bains showed a return to form, running 15:46 on the short leg to move back into 4th. Ben Beattie held onto 7th, covering the long leg in 30:44. Matt ‘Biscuit’ Hobbs (16:08) gained one place on the short leg to move back into 6th. Zak Mellard had a good run on the long leg, finishing 6th in 30:26. Craig Fishwick paced his short leg well to maintain the position with 17:06. Darren Newbould showed his experience on the long leg, holding onto the Balckburn athlete on the climbs and finishing 6th in 30:43. Adam Dyson continued his return to fitness with another good short leg in 16:46. Phil Cooper ran strongly on the final long leg to finish 10th in 32:41 with Pete Hodges maintaining the position on the short leg with a time of 17:07. Phil and Pete, who had waited all day to run their legs for the team, were rewarded with an empty biscuit tin when they returned to the tent!
It was great to see two full senior teams performing very well at the Northern championships. Many thanks to Andy Challenger and Hannah Whitelam, the team managers, for all their hard work in getting out full teams.
Both teams have qualified for the National Road Relay Championships at Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield on Saturday 5 April.