North West Counties Road Relays
The start of the relay season commenced with the North West Counties Road Relays and was a great experience for all those who competed. Set in the beautiful location of Delemere Forest in Cheshire it also gave us a late summer burst of sunshine before the rains of autumn took over.
Teams took part from all over the North West with Liverpool making a great impression and the local hosts of Vale Royal taking many of the top slots. Sale Harriers unfortunately only had teams entered in the senior categories and missed out on giving the younger members of the club some valuable experience in team relay running.
The course was a pleasant 2 lapper meandering around the lake with a few minor gradients, twists and turns. Leg length was about 4.4 miles for the senior runners and the surface was stony paths and trails.
Due to late changes and runners leaving it to the last minute to confirm availability, the team selection was not ideal. Helen Armitage did a great job for our ladies sorting out our 12 girls into 4 great teams. The A team of Helen Armitage 28:27, Jane Thomas 28:51 and Emma Finney 28:53 getting 14th place with 1:26:11 overall time. (6th Greater Manchester team). The B team was Alice Bruce 32:21, Cara O’Brien 30:08 and Jackie Cordingley 31:29 taking 30th place in 1:33:58. The C team were 40th with a time of 1:38:25 consisting of Helen Reagan 33.00, Helen Carter 34:03 and Anna Reeves 31:22 (taking 12 places on her leg). D team Cat Jones 35:13, Jan Nichols 32:08 and Louise Robbins 32:26 47th place with 1:39:47.
The men’s teams suffered more from the difficulties of selection and the added complication of selecting teams according to location i.e. residents of Cheshire, Lancashire or Greater Manchester. We ended up with the C team being fastest with an overall time of 1:38:59 and 17th place (5th Greater Manchester), with Gaz Raven 22:26 (5th fastest of the day), Tim Kennedy 24.00, Paul Green (9th fastest of the day) and Paul Barrett 29:06. Our next team in 52nd place and a time of 1:53:12 was Damien Jones 28:16, Craig Bradbury 26:56, Aidan Raftery 28:32 and Ashley Lynsey 29:28. We also had 2 non counters in Nigel Martin 22:17 (3rd fastest of the day) and Daniel Kashi 23:17 (8th fastest of the day). Our final team consisted of Elton Davies 26:24, Duane Gaunt 30:40, Frank Cordingley 30:11 and Tim Rainey 32:57 giving them a finishing time of 2:00:14 and 63rd place.
With hindsight we could have certainly been higher placed in some of our teams, with us having 4 runners in the top 10 mens fastest times of the day, and some of our top ladies being missing due to injury or other commitments, but the team spirit was high and we can look forward to our next relay outing at Sportcity on the 25th. Get your declarations in early to Dave Rodgers and Helen Armitage.
Posted 16/09/2016 10:09