Midlands Road Relays - Saturday 24 September 2022, Sutton Park, Birmingham
On Saturday 24 September two teams of women and two teams of men from CLC Striders made the journey up the M5 to the beautiful parkland of Sutton Park, just north of Birmingham, for the 2022 regional Road Relay competition. It proved to be a great day, with an amazing atmosphere and a large number of clubs and teams from all over the region.
Conditions proved pretty prefect for a relatively short blast over the undulating, closed roads of the park (which had played host to the Commonwealth Games triathlon earlier in the summer). All the runners representing CLC Striders left everything out on the roads, with gutsy, pacey performances right across the board.
The ladies relay saw two teams, each competing over four legs, with a Masters and Senior team racing.
For the Masters, Amelia Mullins got the team off to a solid start on leg one in a time of 19:17. Next up, Helen Knight ran her fastest ever time of 16:59 at the road relays (and the second fastest Masters time on her leg) to bring the team up to third place after leg two. Only a week before her London marathon, Fiona Brady-Miller ran a very impressive 18:53 for the eighth fastest Masters time on the third leg and then it was down to Liza Bradshaw to anchor the Masters home in a storming time of 17:09 (as third fastest Master on her leg), bringing the team home in second place overall in a cumulative time of just 1:12:18. A brilliant result. Special mention goes to Helen Knight, whose time of 16:59 was the fourth fastest Masters time overall, and Liza Bradshaw whose 17:09 was the seventh equal fastest time on the day.
The ladies Senior team was led off by Rachel Vines, who clocked 19:07, followed by Rebecca Reynolds, in a time of 22:15. Just coming back from injury, Laura Dabney ran a good third leg in a time of 20:14, and debutante Rachael Sycamore anchored the team home in a quick time of 18:39.
Not to be outdone, the Striders men pulled out all the stops too, with the A Team clocking their fastest ever combined time (over their six legs) of 2:02:39 on the day for 33rd place overall – qualifying for the National Road Relay Competition at the start of October as a result.
Competing over longer legs than the ladies (3.7 miles), the A Team were led off by Dan Bazzard who, as part of his leg, bagged a 5K PB on his way to an eventual superb 19:41 for the whole 3.7-mile leg. He was followed by Rob Barnett, who also clocked a 5k PB on his way to an eventual great time of 20:11 for the 3.7 miles. Sam Baylis turned in a solid 21:26 on his third leg, before club debutant John Comer more than proved himself with 21:20 for the fourth leg. Tom Burgess, battling a cold and a tight hamstring on the day, still managed a solid 21:17, with the club’s talisman, Rob Green, anchoring the team home in a super-fast time of 18:44, as one of the 10 fastest runners over that leg on the day.
The men’s B Team ranked 78th on the day, with a combined time of 2:24:49. Another club debutant Rob Finch got the team off to a strong start in 22:23. He was followed by Nick Ledwold in 23:41 and super-vet David James, recovering from injury, in 27:34. A well-paced Eoin McQuone bagged 25:09, while a storming Adam Greenwood ran 23:44, before Jamie Hartnoll anchored the team home in a time of 22:18.
Both the ladies and men’s teams came home pleased and proud to have given their all for the club and achieved more than ever before at the Midland Road Relays – with the ladies finishing second in the Masters competition and the men achieving their fastest ever combined time and qualifying for the National Road Relays on Saturday 8 October.