A record number of 140 teams entered our BMAF Cross Country Relay Championships this year.
The First race consisted of the entire Women’s age groups + the older Men 65+ and 75+.
Claire Martin took an early lead and maintained it to assure Telford the leading 35+ team position on the first stage, her fine run also ensuring her the honour of obtaining the quickest women’s stage of the day. Telford were going through a purple patch as the second athlete home was also a Telford competitor Michelle Clarke, competing for their 45+ team and also obtaining the quickest stage of the afternoon within her 45+ age group. Telford’s 35+ team held on to their lead until the third and final stage, when a fine run by Rotherham Harrier’s Fiona Davies enabled them to take home the Gold medals. Telford AC held on for their Silver’s though, with Sunderland Harriers receiving the Bronze medals. A total of 23 teams competed within the Women’s 35+ age group.
Telford AC couldn’t maintain their first stage lead within the 45+ age group with Bristol & West coming through to secure their Gold medals, Harborough AC also narrowly pushing Telford into third, by a mere 13 seconds. 15 teams contested this 45+ age group.
Only two teams contested the 55+ age group, but a great battle ensued for the medals. Rotherham Harriers were the eventual Gold medallists, edging out Barnsley AC by just 12 seconds. Barnsley AC provided the quickest stage of the day though, obtained by their Jenny Wakeman.
As in the previous age group, only two teams contested for the 65+ age group title, with Matlock AC overtaking Hastings Runners on the final stage due to a tremendous run from their Jan Forrester, Jan also obtaining the quickest W65+ stage of the day and posting a new course record. (15m-41s)
Within the first race the older men also competed amongst the women. 13 teams contested the 65+ age group, with Blackheath and Bromley taking home the Gold medals and Rotherham Harriers the Silvers. Frank Hurley’s tremendous run not only brought Cambuslang Harriers from 9th place to Bronze medal position, but earned himself the quickest 65+ stage medal.
As in the older women’s age groups only two teams contested the men’s 75+ age group competition, with Bingley’s Les Hayes running the quickest stage and helping them to their Gold medals, with Welsh club Prestatyn RC taking Silver.
Race Two. Men’s teams 35+, 45+ and 55+.
With 30 teams contesting the 35+ men’s age group, an exciting tussle between the first three men’s teams developed; all three teams had held the lead during the 5 stages. Leicester Coritanian was the eventual victorious team, holding off Hermitage Harriers by just 6 seconds for their Gold medals, with Charnwood receiving the Bronze medals. A fine run by Owls AC‘s Paul Richardson gave him quickest stage medal.
The 45+ age group team competition was also contested over 5 stages, with 22 teams competing on the day. Similarly to the younger age group contest, all three eventual medallists had been race leaders during the five stages, with Thames Hare & Hounds taking home the Gold medals, Salford Harriers the Silver’s and Rotherham Harrier’s Richard Harris obtaining the quickest 45+ stage whilst assisting them to their Bronze medals.
For the 55+ age group, 14 teams competed over 4 stages and South London Harriers dominated their age group from stage two. Cambuslang Harriers held the Silver position and Warrington AC edged out Dulwich Runners by just 5 seconds for their Bronze medals. South Londoner Andy Tindall receiving the quickest stage medal.
My Thanks to Rob Fox and his Long Eaton club team for hosting us for this record entry of 140 teams. Due to the response and attendance, we are returning to Long Eaton again next year (27th Oct) to hopefully repeat this year’s success.