BMAF Road Relays
Sunday 19th November
Report by Chris Ireland
Two Striders teams travelled down to the Mallory Park Racing Circuit in Leicestershire for the re-arranged British Masters Road Relays. Running on a motor racing circuit was a new experience for me, but the venue lent itself well to this type of event. All the facilities were in the middle of the track making it easy to spectate at several points on each lap. The course itself was largely flat and quite exposed to the windy conditions, though there was a surprisingly steep hill which the organisers kindly sent us up twice. It was bang on 3 miles, with 5 hairpin bends on each lap, and a satisfying dash down the pit lane just before the finish.
The Men’s over 55 team went off first. Jed Turner and I have won British Masters medals on the track and cross country over the years, but a road medal has always eluded us – our best was 4th place in the road relays way back in 2017. We were hoping the addition of Nick Booker’s youthful legs might haul us into the top three this time round.
17 teams set off in the M55 category, with Jed taking on the loaded opening leg for Striders – a number of teams had chosen to start with their fastest runner and first back was Francois Rafferty from Southport Waterloo AC in a very impressive time of 16.30 for the challenging 3 miles. Jed had a race-long battle with an old rival, Dave Gill from Warrington, just pipping Dave with a time of 19.11 and putting us in tenth place. Jed had left me a load of runners to aim for and I picked people off throughout the second leg, running 18.05 and moving us up to fourth position. It was then over to Nick – a man for whom 3 miles is barely even a warm-up – to try and get us into the top three. He put everything into it, with a very solid 18.16 clocking, exactly the same time as the last leg runners for the first two teams. Unfortunately for us, Salford Harriers in third had kept one of their fastest runner to last and his speedy time of 17.42 meant Nick had no chance of bridging the gap. So, fourth again – we will have to go back and try again.
The Women’s over 65 team then showed us how it should be done properly . Louise Rowley got the Striders team off to a strong start, coming in third on a very competitive first leg which saw two of the quickest times of the day. Louise’s time was 23.39. First back was Sandy Masters from Westbury in a very brisk 20.59. Kate Waddicor then moved Striders into a strong second place on leg 2 with a time of 24.30 – third place were now nearly 5 minutes behind. A very impressive 22.42 from Dot Kesterton saw the team hold onto the silver medal position behind a strong outfit from Westbury Harriers. Dot’s time was the fastest on her leg – all the more impressive as she has now moved up to the F70 category so was up against some younger rivals. Louise was fourth fastest on the day The margin to 3rd place was nearly 10 minutes by the end so an amazing team effort from a super strong Striders squad.
Southport Waterloo won the M55 race and Westbury Harriers the F65 race. Full details plus details of the other age groups can be found here.
|3 x 3 miles
|3 x 3miles