Ladies Narrowly Miss Out On Medals

12/6 Stage National Road Relays

Last Updated: Apr 10, 2014 09:14pm
Perry Barr, Birmingham
By Kieran Doody
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Sutton Park played host once again to the annual national men’s 12-stage and women’s 6-stage road relay championships on Saturday.

Problems with the running surface meant that the turn after keepers pool was eliminated resulting in the race distance being reduced to 2.69m in the short lap and 5.08m in the long; the same as last month’s Midland Relays.

Birchfield brought their own problems to the event as injury and illness meant a number of athletes made their first appearance in the A teams.

Despite these misfortunes the women’s team made every attempt to finish the day with a medal falling just 23 seconds outside of the Bronze position.

Sara Treacy led by example in the opening stage finishing second, running a time of 14:22.  An improvement of 11 seconds that saw her claim the fifth fastest lap of the day.

Speaking after her run she said: “I felt really tired coming up the first hill but after that I really got into it but I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep up with Laura, the girl who came first.

“I just tried to make it up the hill as comfortably as possible but then the rest of the pack caught up with me so I just ran with them and then pushed on towards the end of the lap.

“We have quite a strong team, there’s not many clubs that will be as strong as us so hopefully we can get a medal out of it.”

Next up was Geraldine Taylor who made her first appearance for the A team which she described as a “great experience.”  A relative newcomer to this level she rose to the occasion and improved on her Midland run by 22 seconds with a time of 17:38.

Stacey Johnson continued the theme of improvement with a time of 15:01 bettering her previous time by 19 seconds, overtaking 11 fellow athletes in the process.

Battling with fitness, Sian Kahn managed a huge improvement of 43 seconds for a time of 15:44 moving the Stags up to 9th before Ellie Stevens ran a time of 15:18 in 6th place; falling to her knees at the finish line.

Catherine Blew then clawed back the deficit to bring the team home in fourth. She ran the final leg in a time of 14:23, 11 seconds quicker than her Midland run.

Despite the efforts of the team falling just short of a medal Catherine was more than happy with the teams performance.

“I felt strong in my leg, it’s hard as we weren’t in a great position as I came into the leg but I think I caught a few vests.

“The girls did really well, we did the best we could do after losing people prior to the race, and the girls that stepped up did really well especially when you’re not used to it because it’s a lot of pressure.”

The women’s team finished with a time of 1:32:36.

Meanwhile the men’s team did well. With only seven of the team that competed in March turning out on Saturday, Lewis Morley describing the day as one in ‘taking part.’

“I think we’re all handling it really well, we’re trying our best and that is all you can ask for on a day like this. We’re not going to win today but getting a team out to compete is the main thing.”

Oliver Teasel started well running a time of 27:45, an impressive 1:11 faster than his run in March.

The five that didn’t feature last month; Osman Omer 13:36, Simon McNamee 30:36, Nick Hardy 13:32, Mike Morley 29:02 and Andrew Kaar 28:37 all played their part in ensuring the Stags remained competitive throughout.

Yousf Al-Lathaa ran a time of 13:36, a six second improvement and Jonathan Goringe followed suite with a 14 second improvement finishing on 14:25.

Abdi Abdi, who was expected to run a good leg, handled the pressure well finishing on 13:43 before Lewis Morley ran a time of 16:04 an improvement of 36 seconds.  Theo Blundell pulled the team home with a run of 14:17 in the final stage.

Team manager Peter Dimbleby who was running on marathon legs along with Mike Morley ahead of the London, Boston and Nashville marathons over the next couple of weeks managed a time of 29:13 in the 7th stage and remained upbeat about the result.

He said: “ We’ve done as good as expected with the team we managed to get out, We had quite a few setbacks with injuries and illness so a lot of the B team has had to step up.

“They’ve done well, most of them have laid down quick runs and we’ve remained competitive which is all you can ask for.

“It’s such a quick race with a high number of decent quality athletes so you seemed to get pulled along at a good pace but it’s a team even and we all try that little bit harder for the team as opposed to competing individually.

“Mid pack is a good result for the amount of people we have out, we can be proud of ourselves.”

The men’s team finished in 32nd spot with an overall time of 4:18:16.



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