Glos Road Relays - 04/03/2017
A group of nine Striders turned out to compete in the County Road Relays Championship at Haresfield near Gloucester on Saturday.
In this low-key but friendly event, run on pleasant Gloucestershire lanes, competitors were met with a confusing mix of heavy showers with bright sunshine, but with an ever-present wind that became more obvious in the latter stages of the route.
A fast first mile (wind-assisted and slightly downhill), was followed by a turn on to a slightly undulating middle section then a final turn into the full force of the wind, with a small ‘hill’/incline to boot.
With three ladies and six men competing the Striders contingent had enough for a full ladies team, a full men’s team and half of a men’s team which became three quarters of a men’s team thanks to a last minute signing from Gloucester AC..
In leg one it was all about getting off to a quick and positive start, and leading the way for the Striders was Iain Porter. Porter always gives 100%, and today was no exception as he came back 5th on Leg one in an excellent time of 17:23 on this challenging course. Meanwhile, in her first race back for the club since last Summer, Karlien Heyrman made an impact from the outset, returning in an excellent 6th place in a time of 21:03 with everything still to play for. Gavin Jerman was the 3rd Strider back running well to post a time of 22:16 – his best 5km for several months.
Next off for the men was Andrew Paterson. Having run an excellent PB at Bourton 10km the previous weekend, Paterson set off positively and rapidly got into his stride. Where others struggled with the difficult conditions, Paterson’s strength showed through as he held on to come back in 10th place in an impressive new PB of 20:01. Meanwhile, in the women’s race, Amelia Mullins kept the momentum going and moved up two places to 4th with a time of 21:20 to put the ladies well in contention for a medal, whilst Nicholas Von Benzon ran well for a time of 24:52.
On Leg 3, Andrew Gage donned the club colours for the 4th consecutive weekend since returning from Australia and ran well for a time of 22:38 to finish the leg in 14th place, whilst Russell Kirby, on temporary loan from Gloucester also ran well for a time of 22:57. In the ladies race, the battle was on for a medal, and ladies captain, Rachel Vines, set out with intent and had a storming run to overtake 2 runners and lead the team home to an excellent 2nd place in a time of 19:39 which was only bettered by one other female competitor.
Chris Driskell ran the final leg for the men’s team and got off to a strong start but ran out of steam and almost ground to a complete halt on the windy and hilly final mile eventually finishing in 13th place in a time of 18:47.