A look ahead to the ERRA National 6 and 4-Stage Road Relays at Sutton Park
After moving away last year to Clumber Park, Nottingham, because of an E.coli scare, the numbers of competing teams in the ERRA National 6 and 4-Stage Road Relays should revert to normal levels as the event returns to its usual venue, Sutton Park, on October 12-13.
Aldershot’s women will be seeking their seventh victory in a row after they placed first and second in the South of England championships. However, unlike in the Southern event, they will not be allowed to take a second set of medals if their B team finish in the top three.
Emelia Gorecka, who was fastest last year, and Steph Twell, the course record-holder, were both only just back into training three weeks ago after their end-of-summer breaks, so both are likely to be speedier at the home of road relay running. Louise Small outpaced them at Rushmoor from the AFD B team and will be hoping for promotion. Team manager Tim Eglen said he was expecting similar teams.
After missing the event last year as they couldn’t raise a team, Charnwood, with the Potter twins on form, regained their Midland title over this course last month. They will be both challenged by Birchfield, who were second last year and their team manager Ed Cockayne said: “The best way we could improve would be to delete AFD entries!”
A spokesman for Northern champions Leeds, who took both men’s and women’s area titles this year, said: “Leeds City always fared better in the 12-stage event due to our strength in depth, but we are confident we can better our seventh place of last year.
“The sharp end of our team is flying and enter the 6-stage full of confidence after a well-earned Northern win.”
As regards the women’s team, he added: “Susan Partridge’s international successes have breathed fire into the Northern ladies’ winning team. Our 21st placing of last year looks set to be blown out of the door.”
Aldershot’s men also made it a double and team manager Mike Boucher said: “I hope the team will be stronger with Jonny Hay to come in.”
Kent AC, Belgrave, holders Newham and Bedford & County will all draft in replacements after the Southern relay. Bedford team manager Tony Forrest said: “I’m hoping to bring Neilson Hall, Steve Naylor, Matt Janes and possibly Darren Deed in to strengthen my team, so could be contending for a medal, I think.”
Kent AC manager Ken Pike said: “We should be just over a minute stronger than the Southern.” They may bring in John Gilbert if he recovers from the Berlin Marathon last week.
Timetable – Saturday October 12
Women (4x4315m): 12:00
Men (6x5848m): 13:30
Timetable – Sunday October 13
U13 Girls: 11:15
U13 Boys: 12:10
U15 Girls: 13:05
U15 Boys: 14:00
U17 Women: 14:45
U17 men: 15:30
» The October 17 issue of AW will include in-depth coverage from Sutton Park with reports, pictures and results