Upping The Ante: National Autumn Road Relays, Sutton Park

Race Date: Saturday 7th October 2023

Following the Northern Road relays in Birkenhead a couple of weeks before our women automatically qualified for the right to enter this event whilst our men, having to finish in the top twenty five, unfortunately didn’t reach the mark. (Northern Autumn Relays) So, a step up for the ladies as they were now facing the top clubs in the whole of England including the mighty AFD (Aldershot, Farnham and District).

Cornering technique and race set faces. L-R Abbie, Simone, Kathryn, Caroline (racephotos)

In this event, which includes races for the various Young Athlete categories, the men set off ten minutes before the women with drama early on as a vehicle on the path within the first mile of the course bumped a number of athletes. Whilst none of the men were injured, the early rush of adrenaline would probably have been of more use later on in the race. The women’s race was over 4.33km with about  60m-70m of climb according to Strava although, with the road now cleared, no further impediments were experienced.

Getting teams to travel large distances in quick succession is difficult so big shout for Caroline and Kathryn who ran for the club on both occasions. There was a rumour that Simone was running with Eva in the buggy but photographic evidence shows that this was not the case.

Position Name Time (5k equivalent)
24 Abbie Pearse 15:26 (17:49)
35 (-9) Simone Young-Alls 16:51 (19:27)
46 (-11) Kathryn Liddiard 18:46 (21:40)
38 (+8) Caroline Brock 16:04 (18:33)
38 Total Time 1:07:07

First of the sixty four complete teams were AFD (58:07) who’s B team also finished second which seems a little greedy. Fastest leg was Lily Partridge (Birchfield but once of AFD) in 13:55. She also recently won the Great Scottish Run and Great Southern Run illustrating the standard that our team was up against.

The men’s event was won by Leeds City AC who were also victors at the Northern event. Link to full results with all the gory details National Autumn Road Relays 2023 . The boys are talking about getting a team out at the Northern Twelve Stage next spring with the ambition of qualifying for the Nationals. This would mean a team running an average of 16:37 which is achievable so who will pick up the gauntlet?

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