Northern 12 stage and 6 stage Road Relays 2024


Lucy at the relays

Sale Harriers had much to celebrate at the 2024 Northern 12/6 Road Relays recently. First! Tributes go to septuagenarian DAVE RODGERS who again brilliantly promoted this major event on behalf of the club in Wythenshawe Park......... as he also did in 2010 when the club last hosted this championship. Over weeks he worked tirelessly in its preparation, and on Saturday showcased Sale Harriers at its very best by a hitch free event. He'd be the first to thank his important army of volunteers many of them on site from 7am to set up the course and then most stood for six hours in exceptionally freezing chill winds, rain and hailstones as critical course marshals.

Onto the championship! The senior women became the Northern Champions - a fantastic result and what an improvement on last year's 13th place. We've got to go back 23 years to 2001 when the senior women last clinched this major title. On this occasion it was the classy running and strength in depth of SOPHIE WOOD, LAURA BARBER, HELEN WARBURTON, ALICE WRIGHT, IZZY BURKE and LUCY ARMITAGE who brought home the valued, prestigious win. Lucy and Izzy were the team's youngest members, both a part also of the team who became the U20 Northern XC Championships in February, and on this occasion Lucy Armitage (hot from her super 5k PB at the Podium Festival) was even more impressive, supreme as she ran the day's fastest short leg.

As worthy of the same acclaim were the U17 lads who also won championship Gold and FINLAY DAY also won the individual bronze medal. FINLAY DAY, FINLAY GODDARD and RUEBEN JAGO are a fantastic and promising trio of young men whose continued participation and success as they've shown in this championship will doubtless grow and inspire their section into the future.

The senior men also turned out their strongest team and they too were formidable throughout the afternoon mixing it with power-houses Leeds City, Salford, Morpeth and Hallamshire who've dominated this championship in recent years. TOM MORAN, ELLIOT SAVAGE, CHRIS FIELDING, DAVE PROCTOR, MAX WHARTON, PAUL PETERS, PHIL ROBERTSON, JOE GODWOOD, RORY BRADFORD, ANDY THOMPSON, PHIL RICHARDSON and ALEX BRADFORD could hardly have done more to finish 6th as they did last year (and 7th in 2022).

Onwards to the National 12/6 Championships in Sutton Park Birmingham. Riding on their success, surely the men will improve on last year's disappointing 28th place and the women, who've not fielded a team in the National Relays since 2019, if they finish among the top 25 off the back of their Gold medals, they'd record their best result in more than a decade.