There were plenty of Wolverhampton & Bilston vests on show at Sutton Park at the weekend for one of the highlights of Spring. And it was very much spring like weather for the Midlands Road Relays with the sun out, the daffodils blooming, the birds singing and the ice cream van at the Jamboree Stone turning point doing a roaring trade.
The U17s were first off the blocks, as the younger age groups chose to give this one a miss after a long cross country season, in a straight 5k race with no relay involved. Tom Dornan was first back for the club in 18th place 17.52 on virtually no training showing again what talent he has got, if only we could get him to train we could have a star on our hands. Dylan Illidge, who does train hard saw the benefit of that training with a 19th place finish in 18.08.
The Senior men were next out their race being a 12 stage relay over 4 long legs of just over 5 miles and 8 short legs of just over 5k. Jonny Harris was first off the blocks for the A team finishing his long leg in a time of 29.32 placing the club 25th, Dan Turner went off next and moved the club into 22nd in 29.52, Louie Lambeth made up a place with 30.51, Pravesh Patel maintained that with 31.05, Harry Dyall ran 17.45 and dropped back one spot, Gareth Briggs recorded a time of 19.06 and maintained 22nd, Jack Bonser flew round in 16.16 to make up two places, Tom Pryor made his senior debut with 19.21 (22nd) Rich Amor-Wilkes finished in18.33 (21st) and Greg Asbury maintained that position with 19.00, Rob Cartwright pulled a place back with 17.58 and Dave Smith bought the team home in 19th place with a time of 18.33.
Unfortunately due to injury, Covid and other commitments the B team finished incomplete with Tony Cheema running 36.46, Ben Pilsbury 31.38, Nick Beach 37.54, Roger Grand 33.08, Paul Clarke 20.00, Darren Edwards 22.59, Mark Illidge 22.54, Pete Hood 21.57, Rob Edwards 22.31 and the ever reliable Lee Partridge finishing in 22.00. Rich Wright did start the 11th leg but had to pull out due to injury.
The ladies A team fared much better, only missing a medal by just over a minute in their 6-legged event. Louise Hackett got proceedings underway and placed the team in 4th with a long leg of 31.07, Beth Tabor, despite an undone shoelace from the off, maintained the position with 19.27, Amelia Samuels moved them up into the medals with 30.45, Ella Semple made her second club debut having re-signed with 19.24 to maintain 3rd, Lucy Calrow ran 20.04 and held 3rd spot but Issy Cotham was chased down by the Chloe Richardson on Birchfield to just miss out on bronze despite a sterling leg of 19.05, the fastest short leg of the lot.
The ladies B team suffered a DQ on leg 2 but Sabrina Thomas ran 37.11 on the first leg, Sarah Thurley ran 37.53 on leg 3, Beth Dyall 20.47 on 4, Abi Wells-Day 2.21 on 5 and Emily Simmonds finished in 24.21 on leg 6.
Sarah Thurley was out again 24 hours later recording a time of 45.48 to take 62nd place in the Welshpool 10k for 62nd place. A group took part on the Wolves 10k, the lure of a Molineux finish proving too much for some to resist with Darren Owen-Jones making his club debut bringing them home in 22nd place in 38.32, Stephen Green was 64th in 43.37, Anthony Pinson finished in 151st in 48.12, Matthew Hack 212th in 50.30, Liz Walker 235th in 51.48, Geoffrey Hall 270th in 43.32, Ian Willoughby 287th in 53.30, Mary Solomon claimed 2nd in her age group in 500th place overall in 57.52 and Daniel Heathcock was 961st in 1.10.45.
And over the half marathon distance Garry Palmer claimed 8th position in 1.50.08 in the Cannock Chase Trail Half Marathon and Lionel Spittle went round with his daughter Lucy in the Monsal Trail Half Marathon finishing in 273rd place in 2.35.45 allowing Lucy to finish one second and one place ahead.