North Yorkshire / South Durham Road Relays 2024 Race Report and Result

(but organised by the Cross Country team, just to confuse things)

By: Stuart Jones

Race Date: Sunday 24th March

Venue: South Park, Darlington, County Durham

Another chapter in the (minor) benefit of having a ‘second claim’ Club

The event is utterly straight-forward, you’d think. It’s clearly advertised as Relays, with all the same age groups as the Cross Country season. The start time, and order of races, is the same. You’d think it obvious that someone needs to sort out running order for each team, and that any teams short in number either run, but don’t count, or are mixed together to make up some ‘scratch’ teams. But that’s only obvious, it turns out, if you’ve run in Relays before, or you are an experienced racer. On reflection, I found the questions something of an eye-opener, showing some of the barriers to participation in racing or Club events that less-experienced runners might face.

In the week leading up to the event, I was asked;

  • Do we wear the same numbers as in XC?
  • Do we have to wear Club colours?
  • How do we know when to start?
  • How many in a team?
  • What if we only have two runners, or four runners?
  • Can Jack (who I keep calling Josh) run by himself?
  • Are there mixed teams?
  • Who goes first?
  • Does everyone start together?
  • How far do we run?
  • What shoes are best?
  • Do we wear the same numbers as in XC? (Yes, I was asked this twice.)
  • Can you explain how we know when to start?
  • Do we need to take a baton?
  • What order should we go in?
  • How will we know who won?
  • How do Relays work?
  • Do we put the fastest runner first?
  • Why can’t (name of runner) go twice?
  • I’m rubbish; can I still join in?
  • So what time do we need to be there?
  • Where will we meet?
  • Is there a Club tent?

Anyway, my second-claim Club, Teesdale Athletic, did get out teams in both Senior events, but our solo Under 15 was nearly barred as officious Officials didn’t seem to know what to do with him.

My own two mile dash round the three-lap parkrun route was easy for one mile / lap, and distinctly uncomfortable for the second. The photos show exactly what I mean.

My time, 14 minutes 31.9 seconds, was slower than the year before, something I’m just learning to live with. There were 18 slower than me, out of 79 Senior Men, so who am I to complain.

We did not take home any silverware, but we did have a beltingly good time, and the runners new to relays racing are keen to do it again. As a LiRF, I’d say that’s ‘job done’.

Strider’s Result:

Name Time Leg Time
Stuart Jones 27:11.8 14:34.9

Full results:  here (on Power of 10)

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