A round-up of South, Midland and North 12 and 6-stage road relay championships action
South of England Road Relays, Gravesend
Tonbridge AC carried on their good form with a clear win. The Kent club had never previously gained a medal in this event but they won easily from Serpentine.
1500m star James West brought them home on the first leg with a late kick and they led for most of the race.
Highgate, for whom Andy Maud ran a particularly strong leg, won the bronze medals.
The women’s race saw a fast final leg by Winchester snatch victory on the last leg from Thames Valley for whom Tracy Barlow ran a particularly strong early leg.
Unfortunately the organisers had a computer malfunction and full results were not available at the event and no fastest lap awards could be handed out.
North of England Road Relays, Blackpool
Sale Harriers took the men’s 12-stage relay title after a titanic tussle with Salford, Liverpool Harriers and Leeds City, Stephen Green reports.
Liverpool Harriers were the early leaders on a sun-drenched Blackpool day. However, by leg eight Sale had overhauled the Merseyside outfit.
James Wignall sped clear of Liverpool and defending champions Salford to take a memorable victory for the young Sale squad, just 80m to the good. Dejene Gezimu of Liverpool (28:27) was the fastest around the long stage of just under 9.8km.
Liverpool via Matt Jackson and Salford’s Stephen Snape held on for silver and bronze team medals.
Tom Lancashire’s impressive 14:49 return was the day’s quickest for the 5.1km short leg.
The women’s race, over six legs, was also an exciting race, albeit a less close affair. Sophie Cowper starred for Rotherham to bring them into a 200m lead on leg four, with the fastest lap of 33:54, and they were never to relinquish.
Leeds City finished second, around 100m ahead of Leigh who had led to the mid-point of the race.
Emma Clayton was the fastest around Stanley Park with 17:28.
Midland Counties Road Relays, Birmingham
Bristol and West led nearly all the way to win the men’s race by 94 seconds.
Notts AC took the silver medals while a further three minutes back , Cheltenham comfortably took the bronze medals.
Cheltenham’s Graham Rush ran the quickest long leg with a 26:04 clocking, which gave him a 17-second advantage over Stephen Mitchell of the winning team.
Bristol’s Owain Jones ran the quickest short leg with 15:32.
The women’s race saw an overwhelming near 10-minute winning margin for Birchfield.
The Birmingham-based club took the lead on leg two and pulled further and further clear.
Bristol and West took silver medals while Notts AC won bronzes.
Laura-Jane Smith of Notts was fastest on the long leg with 30:32, while Chloe Richardson of Birchfield ran the fastest short-stage of 17:24.
» See the March 30 edition of AW magazine for full reports, pictures and results