National Road Relay Championships - Saturday 8 October 2022, Sutton Park, Birmingham
For only the third time ever in the club’s history (and only the second time that the club has actually fielded a team to compete), CLC Striders Senior Men took part in the autumn National Road Relay Championships at Sutton Park, north of Birmingham, on Saturday 8 October 2022. As one of only two Gloucestershire clubs represented, it was an exciting and important day for the club.
Once again, the weather was kind, with clear skies and little breeze, and the Striders athletes lined up with 80 or so other teams from all over England for the six-leg road relay around the undulating, closed roads of Sutton Park. Each leg measured 5,848 metres, so just shy of 6k.
As in the Midland qualifiers just two weeks earlier, Dan Bazzard led off, knocking 10 seconds off his previous leg time to give the men a flying start with a time of 19:31. In a switch of order, Rob Green ran the second leg, clocking an incredibly fast time of 18:36, again almost 10 seconds faster than in the qualifiers. Rob Barnett ran the third leg and he, too, improved on his previous leg time to run 20:06 on the day.
Tom Burgess, struggling with a long-term hamstring strain, battled hard for a time of 20:51 – more than 20 seconds faster than his time two weeks earlier. John Comer ran only his second race for the club for the fifth leg in a time of 21:32, just shy of his qualifying leg performance. And, drafted in to replace Sam Baylis, club stalwart Javid Norat – in his first race for the club in over four years – brought the team home over the sixth leg, in a PB time for the course, of 22:11.
Overall, in an incredibly competitive and classy field, CLC Striders finished in 71st place, with a cumulative time on the day of 2:02:47. It was the best placing the club has ever achieved at the National Road Relays and marked a proud day for CLC Striders; proving that, as a local and inclusive club, their elite runners can compete at the very highest levels.