BMAF Road Relays 2014
‘Old Michael took the early spoils and took advantage of the first climb and fast flat section to pull out the early lead on his namesake. However, for a change young Michael seemed to have his ‘mature head on’ and just kept a sensible distance behind’
Brilliant sunshine and some very well toned runners greeted us as we arrived at Birmingham for the road relays. I must admit to some trepidation in the week preceding the event, worrying that we would make fools of ourselves in front of the best in the country. But coach Roche put my mind at rest and I quickly got myself in the right frame of mind for the race.
These races are always fun and this did not disappoint. From the moment we all met at the Dunkenhalgh for the trip down the banter started, particularly from Mickey Hogan who seemed to have it in for me. All in good spirit though.
After John had asked for the 100th time ‘Are we nearly there yet dad’ we arrived at Sutton Park. Some of the events had already got underway so we quickly unpacked the pavilion and set ourselves up opposite Salford so we could have a bit of banter during the day.
We watched the women show us how it was meant to be done and very quickly our start time approached. John was a true captain and even polished my head to help me go faster.
First up were the two Michael’s. Motor mouth himself Michael O’Donnell running for the V35 team and Mickey Hogan running for the V45 team. This was always going to be a hard fought battle and did not disappoint. Old Michael took the early spoils and took advantage of the first climb and fast flat section to pull out the early lead on his namesake. However, for a change young Michael seemed to have his ‘mature head on’ and just kept a sensible distance behind. There is a nice little uphill finish on this course and the young man took advantage of this to pull away and come in with a very respectable time of 18:37 with Mr.Hogan just behind in 18:53.
I was 2nd up for the V35 and was surprised to see Forest coming in quite so quickly and I had quite a battle with the organisers to get out to the start line. John Wilcock was chomping at the bit on the start line behind me. In my usual style I put too much effort into the first climb so had to try and regroup myself on the flat section. When I came to the turn-around I saw John behind me so knew I had to try and up the pace. I was hurting by the final climb but running past the Clayton-le-Moors masses on the finishing straight encouraged me and I managed to finish in a time of 18:36 (sorry Forest). John came in close behind me in a time of 19:34.
Leg 3 saw Nick Roscoe running for the V35 against Gary ‘Wilki’ Wilkinson running for the V45. Nick ran a strong leg to keep off the evergreen Wilki, with a time of 19:49. Gary, with yet another performance defying his years ran 18:50 to put the old men just 15 seconds behind the youths.
It was time for the last leg of the V45 race, with still another 3 to go for the V35. Up for the V35 was our brummie Paul ‘Shack’ Shackleton. This was a rare experience for Shack as this race was virtually on his doorstep compared to his usual trek to Lancashire. Running for the V35 was David Hogan sporting his streamline beard.
Shack had the run of the day finishing in 18:09 to take the honors for the V45 over the V35. Well done the old men who finished in 24th place in their category! David ran a strong leg in a time of 21:41, a real gutsy performance from him.
Whilst the V45’s could tuck into their double cheeseburgers there were still two more legs for the V35’s. Paul Wale had the honors and took over from Hoggie. Like David, Paul ran his heart out. I think it is always more difficult for the later runners than the early runners but Paul still ran a strong leg in 21:29.
Last up was the captain himself Mr. Roche. Despite carrying his aches and pains John ran a strong leg in 20:23 to bring the V35 team home in 33rd place. John had said to me at the start of the week we would be somewhere near 30th overall. I didn’t believe him thinking there was no way we would get anywhere near that. But am happy to be proved wrong.
Overall winners were Altrincham & District AC, followed by Les Croupiers and Salford Harriers. The V45 category was won by Leicester Corithanian with Salford second and Thames Hare & hounds in third. Mickey Hogan summed the day up when he said it was fantastic. We had a really good team spirit with some fun thrown in, which is what running in a club is all about. Everyone gave 100% and more. Its days like this that make you really proud and happy to run for a club like Clayton-le-Moors Harriers. Well done to everyone who took part and thank you for making it a memorable day. I personally can’t wait for the next event.
Thanks to Alex Cran for this weeks race report!
The Rest of the Weekends Action
The weekends events started with the 100th Burnley Parkrun, attended by Clayton-le-Moors Harriers very own Ron Hill. On a perfect morning of sunshine, the performances certainly reflected it with PB’s being broken in all directions. Exemplary to this fact were Clayton-le-Moors Harriers Christopher Holdsworth and Tom Brewster. After a gruelling battle for first place, Christopher Holdsworth managed to emerge victorious in his first ever win for the club. Both men pushed each other more than they knew, as when they finished, they realised that they’d both smashed their previous Burnley Parkrun PB’s. Jordan McDonald also had a brilliant run, pushing for a top 3 finish with a time of 18:04. An amazing turn out of 54 Harriers in total took to the Towneley based 5k, with with debutants Adam Hamer, Adrienne Olszewska and Natasha Olzewska all making their bow for the club. However, the star of the day goes to 10 year old Jackson McKay for his outstanding time of 20:57. Well done to all that ran!
Over at the Farfield Horseshoe, over 3000ft was climbed in the 9 mile race, which was attended by twelve Clayton-le-Moors Harriers. David Nuttall was the first Harrier back with an excellent time of 01:35:15. Next through the finish line was Neil Hardiman, finishing in 40th overall. There was also great runs from Ivan Whigam, Dominic Carr and Kieran Carr, rounding off a great day at the Farfield Horshoe 2014.
On Sunday 18th of May, three Clayton-le-Moors Harriers made the trip to Worden Park 10k. As the first Clayton round, Richard Stevenson had a storming run finishing in 11th over all in a time of 00:39:22. Next through the finish is the ever reliable road 10k runner Steve Biscomb, who finished in a time of 00:42:52. The third harrier round the scorching course was Alan Clarkson, finishing in a time of 00:44:44.
Well done to all that ran this weekend, there were great runs from many!