We take teams to a number of road relays throughout the year, both for senior athletes and veterans. For many, for measure of a running club is how it performs at these events, so there’s serious racing to be done. But these events aren’t just about the competition, they’re also social events, a chance to get to know your clubmates better and enjoy cheering each other on through the lactate-soaked purgatory of rinsing yourself for the team.

The standard at the front of these races is very high, so these tend to be for our faster runners, but we try to support as many people to participate as we can. As a rough rule of thumb, for the senior races if your 5k time is sub-20 (men) or sub-25 (women) then you’ll fit into the pack just fine and won’t get left behind. All teams get overwhelming support wherever they are in the field.

Events Overview

Northern 12 & 6 Stage Road Relays

Teams of 12 men or 6 women run a mixture of short (~4k) and long (~8k) legs in competition with some of the best runners from around the north. In recent years, these have been at Birkenhead Park in late March. This tends to be the biggest day out of the relay season, and is a real highlight.

Northern 12 & 6 Stage Road Relays Squad 2019

Women’s Results

Year Position Time Fastest Long Leg Fastest Short Leg
2018 14 2:03:54 Ashleigh Barron (31:29) Jennifer Rich (14:16)
2019 15 & 38 2:06:28 & 2:23:05 Caroline Brock (29:39) Frances Roberts (14:12)

Men’s Results

Year Position Time Fastest Long Leg Fastest Short Leg
2018 35 3:43:35 Tom Halloway (26:49) Tony Ker (13:07)
2019 22 & 40 3:32:46 & 3:45:46 Joe Sweetnam-Powell (26:36) Kristoff Boynton (12:39)

Reports: 2018, 2019

Yorkshire Road Relays

The Yorkshires involve teams of 4 running legs of 3 miles each on the cycle track at the Brownlee Centre near Leeds. This is a great venue, with a fast track (despite a bit of a hill) and excellent facilities. The event is held in late March or early April. If you’re new to road relays and want a gentle introduction, this is the event to do: there are some very good runners here, but it’s a bit lower-key than the other races.

Joe Sweetnam-Powell at the Yorkshire Road Relays 2019

Women’s Results

Year Position Time Fastest Leg
2019 13 81:12 Abbie Pearse (19:51)

Men’s Results

Year Position Time Fastest Leg
2019 12 & 28 66:58 & 72:54 Joe Sweetnam-Powell (16:21)

Reports: 2019

National 12 & 6 Stage Road Relays

The Nationals follow the same format as the Northerns (see above), but take place in April in the beautiful Sutton Park in Sutton Coldfield. Men’s teams need to qualify by finishing in the top 25 at the Northerns, which takes some doing; women’s teams don’t. The standard of competition here is off the scale, so it’s a huge achievement just to take part and hold our own. Running in a small field alongside top runners is a great experience and very inspiring, so if you do get the chance I’d encourage you to take it.

Caroline Brock at the National 6 Stage Road Relays 2019

Women’s Results

Year Position Time Fastest Long Leg Fastest Short Leg
2019 22 & 34 2:32:31 & 2:43:45 Caroline Brock (33:05) Frances Roberts (19:17)

Men’s Results

Year Position Time Fastest Long Leg Fastest Short Leg
2019 51 5:03:04 Andrew Norton (30:44) Kristoff Boynton (17:09)

Reports: 2019

British Masters Road Relays

Once you’re 35 you count as a veteran (sorry, “masters”) runner, so can compete for the club in age-limited races for older runners.

The British Masters Road Relays take place in late May in Sutton Coldfield, using the same course as the National 12 & 6 Stage relays short legs. There are men’s and women’s races run in 10 year age bands (35+, 45+, 55+, 65+, and 75+). All legs are the same, but there are a different number of legs for different races (e.g. 6 for the M35+ race, 3 for the W65+).

We first ran this in 2019, and brought home bronze in the W55+ race and silver in the W65+ race. As a large club with a good contingent of masters runners, this is an area where we can perform very well. It would be great to see our faster eligible runners prioritising it so this becomes a big day in the club calendar.

Mandy Taylor, Nicky Rafferty, Kate Scott, Carol Beattie, Helen Eberlin, & Dot Kesterton with their British Masters Road Relays 2019 Medals

Women’s Results

Year Category Position Time Fastest Leg
2019 W55+ 3 1:07:49 Kate Scott (22:25)
W65+ 2 1:17:41 Dot Kesterton (23:20)

Men’s Results

Year Category Position Time Fastest Leg
2019 M35+ 11 1:49:34 Stephen Schubeler (17:39)
M45+ 18 1:17:25 Adrian Fisher/Nick Booker (18:44)
M55+ 17 1:03:11 David Wilson (20:25)

Results: 2019

Yorkshire Veterans Road Relays

After a few years off the calendar, the YVAA revived the Yorkshire Veterans Road Relays in 2019. The format is 3 x 3 miles for all age categories, and the course is a version of Heslington Parkrun near York. Confusingly, there are different categories for men (M35+, M40+, M50+, M60+, and M70+) and women (W35+, W45+, W55+, and W65+). We had plenty of success in 2019, with our W55+ and W65+ teams both coming home as Yorkshire Champions, and our W35+ and M35+ teams in the medals too.

The pleasure and the pain of relays: Joel Kesterton hands over to James Broomhead

Women’s Results

Year Category Position Time Fastest Leg
2019 W35+ 2 54:40 Caroline Brock (17:06)
W55+ 1 59:38 Kate Scott (19:25)
W65+ 1 70:44 Dot Kesterton (20:38)

Men’s Results

Year Category Position Time Fastest Leg
2019 M35+ 3 & 4 49:33 & 53:02 Andrew Norton (15:46)
M40+ 7 52:02 Adrian Fisher (16:40)
M50+ 7 55:04 Nick Booker (17:38)
M60+ 9 63:46 Graham Goff (20:18)

Reports: 2019

Northern 6 & 4 Stage Road Relays

This is the autumn counterpart to the Northern 12 & 6 Stage relays. It’s run in Manchester, in September, around Sport City, starting and finishing on the running track. There are no short and long legs here: if you’re a man it’s 6.8k and if you’re a woman it’s 6k. The clover-leaf course means if you stand in the middle you can see your runners go past seven times each, so it’s a good one to spectate at.

Northern 6 Stage Road Relays 2018 race start, with Strider Phil Skelton in there somewhere

Women’s Results

Year Position Time Fastest Leg
2019 27 1:41:57 Nicola Birch (24:12)

Men’s Results

Year Position Time Fastest Leg
2018 59 2:22:16 Phil Skelton (22:10)
2019 62 2:23:42 Phil Skelton (22:03)

Reports: 2018, 2019

National 6 & 4 Stage Road Relays

Just as in the spring, the autumn Northerns are followed by Nationals, again in Sutton Park. Once again, men’s teams need to qualify by finishing in the top 25 at the Northerns (if we ever do that for the 6 stage relays it will be a colossal achievement). We can enter up to three women’s teams without having to qualify, though, and there’s no reason why our women should wait for our men to qualify before taking part in this.