Author: Richard Gray
I have also shown teams B-H results from The Midland 6 Stage which were not in the previous report.
The perfect non-storm greeted us at Sutton. Around 15 degrees; hidden sun; wind at 2mph and a gale force 3mph gust. PBs beckoned!
We fielded two teams who had qualified in great style; only the second time having two teams in what is the highest quality team race of the year. There was a great mood, only marred by late changes which had left the B team short of a leg. Manager should have sorted this; so this was on B teams minds.
Off we went, the A team fronted by Dan Robinson. Always reliable, but with a theoretically weakened team due to inevitable marathon damage, we needed quicker times to match The Midland performance. Indeed, Dan was 6 seconds quicker. We were on the right path. Tactically more front loaded for this race just to keep somewhere in the mix, such is the high standard of this race. Henry Brocklehurst had moved from 5th to 2nd leg. Supporting on the course I thought he looked really fast, and indeed he was 27 seconds quicker, leaping us into 33rd place which was to be our fastest leg of the day. Trust me, 33rd is a good start position.
3rd was Adam Peacock who was determined to make up for a slightly disappointing Midland. Determined indeed, getting under 18 minutes and 38 seconds quicker with our second fastest leg!
Tactics, or more accurately great running, put us into 25th place which would be our best place ever.
Dan Shepherd had moved into the A team, and he duly rose to the occasion, taking off a 28 second chunk.
We were now in 29th, closing fast on Derby. John Stolberg needed to keep us in the mix, with team places changing quickly, seeing teams who lacked strength at the tail end dropping back. JP did what was asked, shaving 2 seconds of his previous. Every bit counts. Although we had dropped to 33rd, this included several B teams, so we were easily in the top 30. Tonbridge, Brighton had moved ahead, and Derby now had breathing space.
Chris Pickering needed to fire on all cylinders. He didn’t miss a beat, gaining a fantastic 5 places; overhauling Derby, closing fast on a weary Cambridge B who had high hopes, and calling up the afterburner up the home straight, putting Brighton back where they belonged. Worth noting we also beat Belgrave Harriers. Chris was 14 seconds faster than previously, so that was the full set. Everyone was quicker or much quicker than their Midland run.
We finished 28th in running order, but the correct result is 22nd A team. Our best ever. Very impressive in such a field. Aldershot dominated the race in great style, only relinquishing the lead on two legs!
The B team were also depleted, but never daunted, because of other events and injuries. Donating Dan S, Chris P and JP to the A team, left a big gap to fill.
Running first leg for the B is always challenging at this race. It’s the fastest leg of the race, and at this standard you hope there will be athletes behind you!
The task fell to Matt Pollard who achieved just that. Next up was Mark Ince; raceless for 18 months with injuries, and deprived of a Midland run because the idiot manager forgot to enter him!
Great run, fastest in the team gaining 3 places. Just missing the A team justification by 3 seconds.
We were now in 72nd. Might not sound great, but we were there. You try it!
Abayomi Adedimeji had run so well at The Midland. He dropped a few seconds but only one place, just holding off Swindon B. Lewis Carr was 4th leg, running really well, 21 seconds quicker than The Midland. He gained a place, although Swindon just got passed us. Matt Eyre came in at No5, also shaving 3 seconds from his previous time. Although we dropped one place and back into 74th. This was an overall two place gain, heading two teams.
This was us done, as we could not muster a 6th leg. The late injuries and manager’s error of using reserves who had run marathon unfortunately left us incomplete. I am really sorry not to have sorted this. Once upon a time, an earlier A team leg would stand in, but that is no longer an option.
Regardless, qualification was an achievement, so really well done.
Thanks again to Jort, Nick and others for the tent and sails. And of course all the supporters who make a difference and create a great atmosphere. Thanks to Colin Bailey for tidying up and adding pics.
Gordon “stato” Ainsley has loads of stats on the relays. I think these are on the website. There are two courses over the published years, but both are the same distance. I don’t know bout the gradient, but it would not be a lot different.
After about 35 years of managing the relays, with a couple of short interludes, I have decided to stand down. We need someone who is more in touch. I also want to turn up and enjoy just racing and supporting. I think Dan Robinson is considering this. An ideal replacement in my opinion.
I am very happy to carry on doing The Masters National in May, but similarly would move aside if someone wanted to do this.
1 Aldershot Farnham & District ‘A’ 1:42:44
2 Leeds City AC ‘A’ 1:43:47
3 Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers 1:44:06
4 Birchfield Harriers ‘A’ 1:44:36
28 Birmingham Running Athletics & ‘A’ 1:52:18 (22nd A TEAM)
Daniel Robinson (52) 18:37
Henry Brocklehurst (33) 17:49
Adam Peacock (25) 17:58
Daniel Shepherd (29) 19:32
John Stolberg (33) 19:47
Chris Pickering (28) 18:35
Birmingham Running Athletics & ‘B’ Incomplete
Matthew Pollard (76) 20:26
Mark Ince (73) 19:50
Abayomi Adedimej (74) 20:36
Lewis Carr (73) 20:23
Matthew Eyre (74) 21:33
No leg 6
1 Jack Rowe AldershotF A 16:33 (6)
2 Emile Cairess LeedsCityA A 16:46 (4)
3 Omar Ahmed Birchfield A 16:47 (6
= Hugo Milner Derby AC 16:47 (1)
5 Daniel Jarvis Bedford&Co A 16:53 (2)
6 Kadar Omar Birchfield A 16:58 (4) C
7 Alfie Manthorpe CityOfShef 17:00 (1
8 Richard Allen LeedsCityA A 17:02 (6)
9 Adam Clarke AldershotF A 17:03 (4)
10 Linton Taylor LeedsCityA B 17:05 (1)
Here are the B-H team results from The Midlands which did not appear in the report.
14 Birmingham Running Athletics & ‘B’ 1:58:42
C Pickering (19) 18:49,
D Shepherd (21) 20:10,
J Stolberg (19) 19:49,
J Williamson (20) 20:30,
B Carrington (16) 19:50,
J Marshall (14) 19:34
33 Birmingham Running Athletics & 'C' 2:04:28
P Jolliffe (63) 21:02,
A Adedimeji (49) 20:23,
D Dalmedo (32) 19:49,
A Tsolakis (30) 20:31,
M Matthews (34) 22:30,
M Pollard (33) 20:13
36 Birmingham Running Athletics & 'D' 2:06:44
L Carr (53) 20:43,
M Burgess (48) 20:39,
C Bailey (42) 21:06,
D Cartland (43) 21:48,
C Farrell (37) 21:06,
O Saeed (36) 21:22
49 Birmingham Running Athletics & 'E' 2:14:09
N Smith (80) 22:14,
J Abbiss (74) 21:59,
A Western (70) 22:55,
M Eyre (61) 21:36,
B Beaumont (54) 21:59,
S Pearson (49) 23:26
59 Birmingham Running Athletics & ‘F’ 2:19:56
T Close (89) 23:32,
R Stringfellow (80) 22:43,
C Burrows (77) 23:00,
A Piddington (69) 22:50,
A Hall (62) 23:05,
P Falkiner (59) 24:46
86 Birmingham Running Athletics & ‘G’ 2:35:32
J Casella (100) 25:16,
H Fowler (103) 27:23,
J Preece (93) 24:19,
R Gray (90) 24:37,
P Cannon (89) 25:06,
M Ludford (86) 28:51
Birmingham Running Athletics & ‘H’ Incomplete
S Dhami (116) 35:01,
J Vanmourik (111) 28:14,
R Carney (106) 34:39,
A Ali (103) 28:34
No legs 5 & 6