All roads led to Sutton Park again on Saturday for a dozen athletes from Wolverhampton & Bilston AC after a team had made the decision to take part in the National Road Relays. Having qualified by finishing within the first 25 places in the Midlands Road Relays the men took up the invitation and then had to get a team together. There were 7 missing from the team that placed 19th in the local event making the national version a real stretch but those that did compete came away with times faster than two weeks ago and some more experience over a testing course that certainly takes some getting used to.
There was a great battle at the front of the field. Eventual winners, Tonbridge AC, gradually moved up throughout the afternoon, they started in 23rd place after the first leg but were in 2nd by leg 11, eventually chasing down the silver medallists Highgate Harriers. The runners up were never out of the first two places all afternoon but had to give second best to the Kent club when it mattered most on that 12th leg. Bedford & County AC took bronze making it a clean sweep for the south.
W&BAC may have finished 53rd of the complete teams in an overall time of 5.15.32 but did beat 11 clubs who failed to get a full team out. With the legs this time alternating between long of just over 5 miles and short legs of just over 5k there was some serious juggling of the team required. Dan Turner led them out with 29.10, Tom Pryor ran 19.03, Jonny Harris ran the fastest long leg on the day of 29.03, Nick Beach clocked 21.10, Ben Pilsbury 31.38, Darren Owen-Jones made his club relays debut with 20.18, Rich Amor-Wilkes 32.00, Pravesh Patel 18.56 6 days after crossing the line in the Manchester Marathon, Roger Grand ran 34.06, Rob Edwards 22.11, Dave Newport 35.46 and Lee Partridge brough the club home with 22.11.
Elsewhere club members travelled to Nuneaton for a Track & Field Season Opener, team manager Dave Perkins advised that four of his sprint group competed making their seasonal debuts, Frankie Bowen took part in the 200m and 300m and came 1st in both in the under 15 age group clocking a 200m time of 27.27 compared to her previous pb of 28.58, her 300m time was 44.26 beating her previous pb of 45.0. Michael Darlington ran in the Seniors 100m clocking a time of 12.51. And Finley Powell cleared a new pb of 1.46 before having to retire due to injury after the bar was placed at 1.50. Dave stated well done to everyone who competed he was so proud of all of them. And Greg Asbury recorded a pb in heat 3 of the 800m placing 2nd in 2.15.97.