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CLC Striders Race Reports for 25th - 26th March 2017

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Last weekend saw a team of six ladies and 12 men from CLC Striders make the annual pilgrimage north to Sutton Park for the Midland Road Relay Championships.

On a perfect spring day, teams from all over the Midlands converged on the beautiful grounds of Sutton Park, north of Birmingham for a long afternoon of team racing.

Once again the CLC ladies stormed a great performance, in 18th place overall, with the two long 5.3-mile stints – the first and third legs – run by Liza Barry, finishing in 18th place in a time of 35:46, and Rachel Vines in 23rd place with a time 36:12. The four 5K legs were covered by Rebecca Reynolds, who came home 25th in 24:23, Patricia Sturgess, 23rd in a time of 23:48, Amelia Mullins, finishing 21st in 21:40 and finally Karlien Heyrman, coming back stronger with each race, in 18th place in 21:33. The cumulative time for the ladies team was 2:43:22.

Meanwhile, the men’s team was led off on the four longer legs by Iain Porter, who bagged a 26th place finish in 30:33. He was followed by the club’s most consistent elite athlete, Will Ferguson, who gained an amazing nine places on his leg, completing the 5.3 miles in 28:59 in 17th position. In his first competitive race back after a long lay-off through injury, Sam Baylis finished in 23rd place with a time of 32:50. And the fourth long leg man was Greg Chilton, in 25th place and a time of 32:30.

With a strong platform built, the first four 5K-leg runners completed their runs as follows: Andrew Gage was 36th in 22:57, debutant James Gibbs was 35th in 20:58, Christopher Thomas was 42nd in 25:27 and Martin Bick was 43rd in 23:17. The last four 5K Striders men on the day were Paul Northup in 40th place with a time 19:47, Gareth Harries in 39th with 20:20, Tom Vickers in 37th in 20:06 and, finally, loyal club man and team organiser for the day, Chris Driskell, with a 35th place and a strong 19:00 time.

Overall, the men finished in a credible 33rd place out of 58 complete teams in a cumulative time of 4:56:44.

Elsewhere, CLC veterans JJ Willson ran the beautiful Coniston 14 in the Lake District underneath snow covered peaks and Charles Goodwin ran the Malaga Half in the soaring heat of southern Spain.