This year the relays were held much closer to home than over the last few years with Stockport Harriers hosting the venue at Woodbank Park. The leg distances were much shorter than usual, allowing track based clubs to field stronger teams than usual with the ladies leg just 2.3 miles long. Even so our ladies team finished an excellent 8th place, possibly the highest placed we have been in the road relays.
In the ladies race Katie Ingram set the team off brilliantly by recording the fastest time on the first leg of 13.24, five seconds clear of Donna Riding of Sale, a 2.06 800m runner, handing over to Lisa Heyes, who recorded the second fastest time of the team with 14.21. Lisa had some fast ladies on her leg and brought us in to a fine 6th place, which we held for the next two legs, with Suzanne Budgett clocking a great 15.09, showing that her road times are improving with every race. Angela Allen kept the momentum going with a solid 15.14 and like Suzanne and Lisa ran inside the fastest top ten runners for their legs. Emma Perrin racing for the first time in months after an illness /niggle interlude! Did super well on leg five to record 15.37 coming home in 8th place which we held until the end, with Caroline Scholes losing no more places and running a much better paced run than at Haigh with a good 16.28 time. Katie missed out on the fastest time of the day by three seconds to Ellanor Baker of Stockport. Well done to the ladies great team effort.
The event was held at Woodbank Park Stockport, so with it being fairly local we thought we’d give it a go. The venue was ideal, the weather was superb and the course was HILLY (not what I do best) but thankfully others do well.
The team finished 18th overall, which I think was a great achievement considering a number of our club runners were battling it out in Ireland and one or two unavoidable withdrawals.
Thanks to all who ran, to Guy and Rob who are currently running on heavy legs due to their up and coming marathons (good luck lads). To Andrew and Spike for being good team players (private joke). To Gary – who ran the fastest long leg – and Gareth, both coming back from injury and showing no signs of any niggles. I’m sure they are now looking forward to gaining full fitness. To Bren and Martin who ran the whole course on grass, as they don’t do road and thought it was a bit flat. To Dennis for running our fastest short leg time, doing a late leg and all without a single word of complaint (cheers). To Karl who stepped in at the last moment, and to Steve who raced the Gin pit 5 in the morning then came to Stockport later on, just so that we finished a team.
Thanks to Norman and Pete for their support and to Jane (our girl guide) for putting the tents up and down. I even had to stop her from starting a fire with two sticks.
Finally congratulations to Karen and Alistair on the birth of their 9 lb baby son.