Serpies In Action at the Southern and National Road Relays

Sunday 24th September saw Serpies in action at the South of England Road Relays championship (popularly known as the Southerns) in its new venue of Crystal Palace. This traditionally marks the end of the track and field season and the start of the cross-country season, and sees clubs from across the south of England with some incredibly high standards at the top whilst being accessible to a wide range of club runners.

In the senior women’s competition, with teams of four each running what was officially (but in all likelihood falsely) listed as 4500m our A team (Helen Gray, Marina Johnson, Sarah Pemberton & Victoria Crawford) finished 12th overall, with a cumulative time of 53 minutes and 38 seconds, whilst our B team (Alexandra Baird, Sam Ludlow-Taylor, Jen Green & Emilie Isaacs) finished 31st in 57 minutes and 37 seconds and our C team (Andrea Sanders-Reece, Lisa Pettit, Faye Barrett and Maria David) finished in 67th place in 68 minutes 34 seconds.

Two hours after the senior women’s event started, it was the turn of the senior men, in teams of six each running what was officially (but again probably falsely) listed as 6000m. Our A team (Rich Phillips, Nick Torry, Hugh Torry, Simon Barrett, John Franklin and Simon Craddock) finished in 20th position in 1 hour 36 minutes and 24 seconds. Meanwhile our B team (Chris Wright, Nic Barberis, Dani de Palol, Simon Morris, Jeremy Agnew & David Evans) finished in 50th place in 1 hour 42 minutes 56 seconds.

This meant that we had two women’s team qualify for the Nationals, held in Sutton Coldfield (near Birmingham) on Saturday 8th October. With the same format as the Southerns, our A team (Izzy Clark, Lauren Roe, Sophie Flanagan & Christine Kennedy) finished 45th in a time of 1:08:07 and our B team (Lisa Pettit, Lan O’Connor, Rhi Needham & Laura Carmichael) finished 72nd in a time of 1:20:36. Unfortunately, whilst we had one men’s team qualify for the final, no complete team could be put out, and the decision made was not to compete as an incomplete team.

Many thanks to all those who ran, and particularly to team managers Tash Sheel, Laura Carmichael and Peter Holmes.

The next road relays event will be the Southern 12/6 Stage championships next March – 12 stages for the men, 6 for the women, with the Nationals (with the same format) in early April. More details and sign-up information will be sent round closer to the time so please do look out for that – it’s a great way to race for your club, with race entry and any travel out of London paid for by the club, and suitable for both our fastest runners and those of more modest ability.

Tom Poynton
Endurance Running

Submitted: 11 October 2017