6 and 12 Stage Road Relays

Our A & B teams, both men and women, all qualified for the National Road Relay Championships in Sutton Coldfield after yesterday's Southern Championships in Milton Keynes.

The Southern Road Relays were in a new venue this year but the basic format remained the same: 6x 8k plus 6x 5k alternate 'long' and 'short' legs for the men and 6x 5k for the women. With 'two and a bit' teams of men and women we were one of the largest contingents cheering our athletes, even if our eco-friendly travel arrangements (train and walk) meant we didn't have the benefit of gazebos and deck-chairs like some other clubs!

The men's race was very closely fought this year and it was fun to watch our Metropolitan League rivals Woodford Green getting rather over-excited when they thought they might make 3rd place (they didn't). Our teams once again proved our strength in depth with very consistent performances from 1st to 12th leg runners. In the end, our A team was 11th (same as 2011) and our B team 25th.

The women's race was dominated by Aldershot, Farnham & District with a win by their A team and silver for their B team. With Emelia Gorecka racing for their team (amongst other top female athletes) they were in a class of their own. Our teams, with totally different runners from 2011's, performed really well and once again the A team made the top ten, finishing 8th, and our B team 25th.

Thanks also to those athletes who ended up in partial teams. It's tough not to be in a finishing team but it makes A and B team selection so much easier on the day.

The National event is on 14th April.

Submitted: 26 March 2012