The world may be a slightly different place to when we were last here, but there are some things that don’t change – the course is still brutal, the hill shreds your quads, however the support is off the scale. You can keep your big, city centre events, your mass participation, t shirt and chunky bespoke medal races, this is proper racing action. And with people panic buying fuel and queues at petrol stations to negotiate to get to Sutton Park, athletes from Wolverhampton & Bilston made sure they gave it full gas, but just had to remember not to use up too much petrol on that first nasty incline and find themselves sucking diesel, as they say in “Line of Duty”, for the next two miles.
There is only one place to start, with the ladies, who can claim pride of place for the club bagging a team silver just behind the might of Birchfield Harriers, finishing in 1.02.44, with Coventry Godiva, City of Stoke, Bristol & West, Western Tempo and BRAT in their wake. Vikki Mackay led the team out with a time of 16.14, Louise Hackett was second away in the 10th fastest time overall of 15.13, Beth Tabor ran 16.39 for the 3rd leg and Amelia Samuels pushed the team up from 6th place into the runners up spot with the 4th fastest leg of the day in 14.38 qualifying the team for a call up to the National Road Relays at the same venue in two weeks’ time.
The ladies B team finished in 13th place with Isobel Cotham running 15.55, Ceri Card 17.46, Sabrina Thomas 17.38 and Ruby Richards 17.02, a total time of 1.08.32. And the club fielded an incomplete C team of Becky Palmer who ran 18.09, Abigail Wells-Day 18.28 and Carrie Creamer 19.15.
The men’s team were also able to claim National Relay qualification finishing in 19th place in 2.01.35 with Louie Lambeth being the first cab off the rank and trying to stay with the fast boys before dropping back but still finishing in 20.02 with the club in 44th place. Dan Turner ran 20.39 to move the club up 3 places, Jonny Harris ran 19.46 for the 3rd leg and moved the club into 30th, Harry Dyall consolidated that position, his journey back from Cardiff Met University being rewarded with a time of 20.19, Jamie Ward then sliced his way through the field with a 19.19 leg to place the club in 21st and Aaron Poole held that position with a club debut 21.30.
The B team were led off superbly by Pravesh Patel who tempoed the first 4k and raced the last section to finish in 19.38 – a great time in the London Marathon next week looks guaranteed. Dan Maskew ran 20.57 on his least favoured surface, Dan Steventon-Box crossed the line in 24.44, James Yang ran 25.42, Keith Carter 24.23 and Lee Partridge 25.11. An overall time of 2.20.35.
The men were lucky enough to have a masters event as an option with Dave Norman throwing himself into the lions den on the first leg putting the team in 9th with a 22.12 lap, Gareth Briggs put injury to one side to run 21.55 and move the team up to 8th, which was where they stayed with Greg Asbury racing round in 22.30, Dave Smith clocking 22.16, Alex McVie finishing in 22.07 and Andy Dyall bringing the team home in 24.25 with a total time of 2.15.25. Their incomplete B team all finished within a minute of each other with Rob Edwards posting 26.18, Darren Edwards 26.01, Pete Hood 26.07 and Mark Illidge 26.52.
With life coming back to normal, the club is in a very strong position to tackle the cross country season, we just need to make sure we’ve got enough petrol in the tank both literally and metaphorically to get to the next muddy field. Luckily our next relay event is a home fixture at Aldersley and we can all run there if necessary.
Full results below: