A look ahead to Saturday’s ERRA 12 and 6-stage road relays in Birmingham

Highgate’s men and Aldershot’s women defend their titles at a national road relay champs on Saturday (April 8) which falls slightly earlier in the calendar this year.

The races will be held over the same 5.38-mile (8.96km) and 3.165-mile (5.14km) legs as 2016, with the men running alternate long and short and the women having long legs on stages one and four and short for the others.

Despite being headed by Tonbridge and Serpentine in the Southern road relays this year, Highgate are bullish about their chances in Sutton Park. Southern fourth-placer Aldershot were second here last year and will also be stronger than in their area race.

Former Southern winners Kent will have Alex Yee and John Gilbert to come into their team.

Swansea will carry the colours for Wales and include Dewi Griffiths in their line-up, while the Scottish challenge includes Central AC.

Last year’s women’s race saw Aldershot regain the title from Swansea after slumping to third in their area race.

They were again third in the Southern relays this year but expect to be stronger in Sutton Park.

Winchester narrowly won the Southern women’s title from Thames Valley, while Birchfield comprehensively took the Midland women’s race, although like several teams they could be missing some athletes who are abroad training.

The men’s 12-stage starts at 12 noon with the women’s 6-stage at 12:20pm.

» See the April 6 edition of AW magazine for more from our preview