National XC Relays results and report

Race date: Saturday 3 November 2018

The national relays are one of the highlights of the cross country year. They were held, as usual, at Berry Hill Park in Mansfield – meaning Striders once again were able to field a number of teams.

After the various junior races, the senior women were off (3 x 3km, completing a single long lap doubling back around the lake and through the woods). Striders fielded an A and B team, and a third of a C team. After that, the final race was the senior men (4 x 5km, two laps of a slightly shorter loop).  On the men’s side we had an A and B team, plus 3/4 of a C team.

Will this be the final year that women and men race over different XC distances? Unfortunately I wouldn’t hold your breath.

All the runners put in fine performances and did the club proud. Highlights included:

  • Caroline Brock on the women’s first leg. With the daunting task of racing against the very best XC runners in the country, she carried over her superb form on the fells to leave the A team well placed at the handover. Not only that, but she finished in a time that would have been impressive on the track, let alone an undulating, twisty cross country course. If she can find a 3000m race, the club record might well be under threat.
  • Sam Needham and Louis Wood duking it out on leg 1. Sam built up a lead on lap 1, only to regret his morning parkrun as he struggled on the second lap and Louis got past him. However, the competitive spirit kicked in and Sam sprinted the last few hundred metres to give the A team a slight lead at the changeover. As a measure of the quality on the men’s leg 1, it’s not often you can run the equivalent of 18:30 flattish parkrun and still finish near the back.
  • Mark Platton appearing to have produced the run of the day, leading the C team into an unexpected podium position against seasoned international athletes. What a performance! Unfortunately, Mark had somehow made it into the finishing funnel when he still had a lap to go and by the time he’d realised his error, Richard Pegg had already set off on leg 3. Cue Mark having to put in a mad sprint to catch Rich and tell him to go back to the start.
  • Mark Gray recording the best men’s time of the day to further strengthen the A team’s position.
  • Peggy recovering from his inadvertent warm up to bring home the C team well before the sun set, defying his pre-race predictions.
  • Mark celebrating his run by purchasing a commemorative hoodie, only to find once he washed it a day or two later, it shrank and no longer fitted. There is a reason they sell them off cheap for a few quid at the end of the day. At least he didn’t follow Sam’s example and buy one at full price around lunchtime.
  • On the final leg, Andy Norton defying doctor’s orders and dragging his chest infected body round the course in a fantastic time to bring the A team home.

Due to a few drop outs the recorded names of some the runners are not those who actually ran but in the confusion of the day I’ve forgotten who actually did what. Let the web team know of any corrections required.

The senior women’s race was won by Tonbridge AC in 0:29:27. There were 166 complete and 23 incomplete teams. Full results here

Striders women

A Team Name Time Team Pos
Leg 1 Caroline Brock 00:10:54 42
Leg 2 Nicola Galley 00:11:43 41
Leg 3 Kate Scott 00:13:25 47
Total 00:36:04 47th
B Team Name Time Team Pos
Leg 1 Nicola Ross 00:13:31 109
Leg 2 A Jackson 00:14:57 102
Leg 3 M Taylor 00:13:32 85
Total 00:42:01 85th
C Team Name Time Team Pos
Leg 1 C McKeown 00:14:17 124

The senior men’s race was won by Leeds City AC ‘A’ in 1:00:22. There were 154 complete and 25 incomplete teams. Full results here

Striders Men

A Team Name Time Team Pos
Leg 1 Sam Needham 00:19:21 131
Leg 2 Liam Turner 00:19:04 109
Leg 3 Mark Gray 00:18:48 93
Leg 4 Andy Norton 00:19:10 91
Total 01:16:24 91st
B Team Name Time Team Pos
Leg 1 Louis Wood 00:19:25 133
Leg 2 Kevin Sibley 00:20:01 119
Leg 3 K Jackson 00:22:20 127
Leg 4 J Grindham 00:21:14 117
Total 01:23:01 117th
C Team Name Time Team Pos
Leg 1 N Burns 00:20:59 154
Leg 2 Mark Platton 00:21:55 144
Leg 3 Richard Pegg 00:25:51 152



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