at Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham on Sat 8th Oct 2016.
After a struggle to get out teams the effort was well rewarded with two solid results by teams that had the interests of the club to the fore. On an overcast but dry day at the spiritual home of relay running there was a great atmosphere, what with all age groups and both sexes contested for the first time.
We had no less than 9 out of the 12 guys making their club debut in this event and all gained valuable experience which will stand them in good stead for future events. Our A team was lead of by club stalwart Chris Greenwood who despite time off in recent months delivered a solid start on this the most competitive of legs running 18’ 33” which earned him 41st position out of 83 starting teams – all of whom had to make the top 25 teams in their Area Relays to even be there.
A welcome return to the fold was James Connor, making his 10th appearance at this event, as he tore through the field to get us up to 23rd place, running 18’ 01”, which stands him in good stead for his return to Marathon running in Frankfurt at the end of the month. One of our new boys James Bowler then had a solid run, as he gained one place running 18’ 43”, despite not being fully fit which should set him up for what promises to be a good season.
Recent recruit, Adrian Lowther, then battled all the way and was only 30m secs slower than James Bowler as he ran 19’ 16” giving us a glimpse of his talent as he gets back to full fitness. David Ansell, drafted into the team late in the day, then ran solidly but dropped down to 37th position as he ran 20’ 18”. Last man Neil Phillips had a solid run as he gained two place to 35th place running 19’ 12”which placed us as 12th Southern team – a solid performance all round.
Our B team were making their debut at this event and were led off by Tim Lawrence who ran really well on a highly competitive leg coming home in 76th place in a time of 19’ 38”. Chris Minns then showed that he will be a real asset to us in the future as he then ran 19’55” which also earned him 76th pace – again on a really competitive leg. Jordan Weav was so new we had to lend him a vest but he delivered with a great time of 19’ 45” which got us up to 72rd place – we expect big things from him once he gets into full training.
Sam Rowlands, again another newcomer, then delivered as he gained a place getting us up to 71st position before another new lad, Ian Elwood, also handled the pressure really well and ran 20’31” to secure 68th place. Not to be outdone Asa Burnett handled the long wait well and ran a great time of 20’ 08” as he stormed past a couple of runners to earn us 66th place out of 82 teams – most of who were A teams who were good enough to qualify via their Area relays. So less than a minute between all the B team showed how well they had run.
So lots of positives from the day where we had by no means our best A team out but a lot of guys were learning their trade at this most prestigious of events which will stand us in good stead for the future.