UKA British Relay Championship. Sun 18th Oct.

The results link at the bottom are pretty comprehensive and will give you all the leg times and variations in team placings, I will leave that for you to study and just comment on the teams overall performance.

What promised to be a nice sunny day by the weather men turned into a pretty miserable drizzly one, with low cloud sending runners off in all directions.

The senior men’s team claimed the best performance of our four teams entered finishing a fantastic 7th overall, with Darren Kay on the first leg running well to bring us in 11th. Gary Priestley and James Kevan set off on the second leg in earnest and at one stage had managed to claw back four places for fifth, but a mini mistake on path choice let a couple more teams get back into contention and we finished the leg in 10th. Our super navigator James Logue was on the orienteering leg with his shadow Stuart Edmondson as partner – who kindly stepped in at the last minute – James found the leg pretty tough as there was little scope for clever map reading with the terrain being particularly devoid of good reference points. However they both ran great consolidating our position in 10th. This left Alastair Murray who disappeared into the mist hopefully to re-emerge not having got lost and maintain – or better still improve – our excellent position. Ali had a quality run – like all of our runners – against the best fell runners in the country to bring the team home in a fine 7th place – from 154 teams running – having found out that the first three teams to finish had failed to find one of the check points and were disqualified.

The ladies team were given a flying start by Lindsey Squires on the first leg who finished in a super 3rd place, looking particularly strong at the finish, Lindsey handed over to the mother and daughter team of Angela and Dionne Allen who although apprehensive of the course navigation gave 100% with a brilliant run finishing I made it in 5th place. By now the clag had come down and Rachel Metcalfe and partner Sue Hayes were not relishing the task of finding difficult check points in the mist. The rest of the squad waited patiently in the rain for a glimpse of a red vest and realising that the mist had indeed won the day – as it did with many of the pairings The girls finally came in pretty weary. By this time Geraldine Walkington’s many layers of clothes had proved insufficient in holding back the cold and rain as she finally shivered off in the mini mass start at 3pm. She did however team up with Mike crook from the 0/50 team on the leg to bring the ladies home in 15th position, well done Geraldine.

The 0/40 team was rapidly put together in the week leading up to the race and I am grateful for all those in the team who willingly supported the club by answering such a late call. Steve Nolan epitomized this and with little compass knowledge stuck in on the first leg with a great run finishing (I made it) in 10th place. This then gave our second leg runners Ian Hamer and Phil Dewhurst an opportunity to match strides again having been old training partners in the past. I believe it was considered a draw as they both finished strongly. On the orienteering leg Brendan Bolland had Mick Green as his shadow and they had a brilliant run pulling back many teams (see results) I think it was 25. Steve Kenyon who had probably the longest warm up of his career, set off with a little trepidation into the mist and had a mixed time in the woods pulling himself out of a bog at one stage and finding the map reading pretty tough in the conditions, however Steve brought the team home in a fine top ten place.

The vet 0/50 team possibly had the most trouble of the day with the poor visibility with Brent Brindles position on the first leg looking pretty good initially, I made it 6th until Tony Hesketh and Colin Wood went on a tour of the woods, and Steve Jackson and Brian Walton deciding that a recce of the Ennerdale route was the best option after going off in the wrong valley!! Poor Mick Crook didn’t know when he went out in the mini mass start that the team had already been disqualified, but he partnered up with Geraldine and they enjoyed their afternoon amongst the mist and the hills.

Although a miserable day it did not dampen the spirits and the camaraderie of the squad who did a great job in representing their club at this, the premium fell event of the year.


FRA Relay