Northern Athletics Road Relay Championships 2014
‘These rumours had everyone talking and some of the Clayton-le-Moors faithful used this confusion as a smoke screen to raid the Trawden cake and cookie tins undetected’
On arriving at the Trawden tent, where we once again decided to take up the kind offer of a tent share, all the talk was about how poorly marked the course was and how much chocolate cake Spencer had eaten the night before. Despite his full stomach Spencer was soon away on the first leg and returned in a magnificent 28th place. Next away was Richard Briscoe who was clearly in a rush to get to Burnley to watch his beloved Clarets as he managed to post a great time and hand over in 39th position – An excellent run considering the caliber of runners in and around him.
The youngest member of the team, Jacob Boyle was keen to challenge Spencer’s earlier time as he set off on the 3rd leg. Only to find on his return that the organisers had started to lose control of who and what time was on each leg. However the most important thing was that Jacob had managed to hold onto his position, which was a great performance by the youngster. The confusion began to gather momentum and by the time Adam Shaw, Jonathan Pye and Paul Wale had completed there legs, rumours of a potential mass start were in full swing. These rumours had everyone talking and some of the Clayton-le-Moors faithful used this confusion as a smoke screen to raid the Trawden cake and cookie tins undetected.
To add to all this confusion runners were now returning to the change over area complaining of being misdirected by marshals (who I add, were not wearing hi-vis jackets) around the course and unfortunately our very own John Wilcock was to fall victim to this on leg 7. This error by the marshals cost John approx 2-3 mins and probably several more in motivation after having to climb the first hill all over again! The small consolation for John was it was also happening to some of the elite teams fighting it out for national qualification which saw some heated discussions at the organisers tent! Matt Law and Lee Passco started the Clayton-le-Moors Harriers fight back by both posting fantastic times and gaining the team a place or two back.
Next it was myself, my hopes of having a pack of runners to run with and against had not materialised, so off I went with only a few targets in my sights. After only just returning to competing after a hernia operation I was a little unsure as to how fast to go out, but three hills in the first mile soon had me settling for a steady start. With the hills behind me I was able to open it up a bit in the last section and managed to claw back another two positions. Captain Tom Brewster was next up and he showed exactly why he is proving to be a great road captain by leading by example and notching up an amazing gain of four places!!
The rumours of a mass start had been confirmed and all remaining runners were to go off together once all twenty five qualifying teams had completed the race. This would mean our final leg runner, Dave Motley, would have the advantage of running in a pack to try and gain the team a few more places. Dave managed to post the teams fastest short leg time of the day, which brought the team home in a respectable 48th position
Yet again another great team day out and despite the lack of organisation and communication of the event everyone seemed to enjoy the day. Thanks to Tom for organising the team and to my entire fellow team members and their families for a fantastic day out representing Clayton-le-Moors Harriers!!
Thanks to Lee Smith for this weekends race report! Full results here.
The Rest of the Weekend Action
As a multitude of Clayton-le-Moors Harriers descended upon Heaton Park’s 12 Stage Northern Athletics Road Relay Championships, fewer races were attended this week. Nonetheless, Harriers made their presence felt at the Haworth Hobble. Thirty Two miles of Moors were covered by a great turn out of 10 Harriers. First around the extensive course was James Baldwin in an excellent time of 04:50:06 and in 25th position. This was followed shortly by Andrew Orr in 28th recording a time of 04:52:30. Martin Terry and Andrew Armstrong came in at 52nd and 70th respectively, whilst running duo Mick Dobson and Ivan Wigham sneaked in under the century mark with a 99th placed finish. Wendy Dodds was the first F60 around the track and the solitary female Harrier to compete, well done! Full results found here.
Elsewhere, at the Trimpel 20, confusion has arisen over the missing finishing time of ‘Marathon’ Captain Dave Motley. Although the results may not state it, he posted a spectacular time of 2:10:09! Snapping at his heels was Paul Hesketh who also posted an impressive result with a time of 02:11:32. Now a former Harrier, Derrick Marsh also had an excellent race 02:41:39. Well done and we wish you all the luck in the future!
Lastly, at the Sweatshop St. Annes 10 Mile Nick Gaskell continued his blistering form by coming in at 9th overall. Stephen Biscomb and Brian Wildman also had excellent races at the 10 mile course.