Northern 6 & 4 Stage Road Relays 2021

Race date: September 18th, 2021

Kudos to the ten Striders who donned the vest and headed to Redcar to represent the club in this year’s autumn edition of the Northern Road Relays. Victory may have eluded us again, but rubbing shoulders and jostling elbows with athletes of the quality that you find at these events always inspires, and often draws out performances you didn’t realise you were capable of. They’re always worth the trip.

As the 2pm race start approached, our various car-loads of runners converged on a picturesque spot in the shadow of a row of toilets by the call-up area. The club tent, located in a panic the evening before, came out of its bag but remained flat on the grass for the duration of the event. The club flag flew proudly beside it. This wasn’t a metaphor for failure or a job half done; it was a symbol of what running is about: pride taking priority over comfort. Who needs rest when there’s a race to run? Who needs a tent when you have a flag?

The course was a dead straight 6k out-and-back along the sea-front offering nowhere to hide. There was a breeze that came and went, but you’d have needed a spirit level to find an incline. No excuses really, a true test of what you’d got on the day.

Perhaps the weather was a little on the hot side, but the organisers had laid on some sea so that over-heated runners could cool down with a post-race swim. You have to respect that level of service.

Special mentions for some who conspicuously aced the test:

  • Jaccqui Herring ran leg 1 for the women’s team. She has a 5k PB of 22:30, but somehow dug out a 26:10 leg, the equivalent of a 21:34 5k. You can’t ask for more than that.
  • Seth Kirby 2.0 ran the anchor leg for the men’s team. He’s shown in various recent races that he’s levelled up during the pandemic, but I’m not sure anyone was expecting his 21:11. That’s the equivalent of a 17:28 5k, and only 4 seconds slower than our fastest leg, Sam Brown’s 21:07.
  • Rob Bishop may have run faster before, but never just 7 days after starting a 100-miler (6 days after finishing one). Spectacular powers of recovery.
  • Caroline Brock showed again that she’s as consistent as she is prolific, absolutely unstoppable, with a stonking 22:21 anchor leg for the women’s team (worth an 18:25 5k).

Great running and superb commitment from everyone. Well done to all for mixing it with the best in the North and doing us proud.


Our women’s team finished 24th of 45 teams, in a time of 1:36:33. The winners were Salford Harriers in 1:24:52, helped by Anna Bracegirdle running the fastest leg of the day in 20:24.

Women’s Team: 1:36:33, 24th/45

Leg Name Time 5k Equivalent Team Position
1 Jacqui Herring 26:10 21:34 39/49
2 Frances Roberts 23:53 19:41 33/48
3 Sian Evans 24:09 19:54 30/45
4 Caroline Brock 22:21 18:25 24/45

5k equivalents based on Riegel’s formula and a distance of 6k. Full women’s results are here.

Our men’s team finished 57th of 72 teams, in a time of 2:14:40. Leeds City AC were the winners, in 1:46:55. They also supplied the day’s fastest leg, courtesy of Richard Allen’s blistering 17:24.

Men’s Team: 2:14:40, 57th/72

Leg Name Time 5k Equivalent Team Position
1 Sam Brown 21:07 17:24 58/86
2 Ben Jones 22:32 18:34 62/83
3 Elis Evans 23:27 19:20 67/81
4 Rob Bishop 23:02 18:59 65/81
5 Malcolm Baggaley 23:21 19:15 63/79
6 Seth Kirby 21:11 17:28 57/72

5k equivalents based on Riegel’s formula and a distance of 6k. Full men’s results are here.

Sam Brown, on leg 1

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