1 MARTIN PALMER – Martin produced a remarkable effort on his return to competition in the Midland 6-stage road relay championship. He joined the club a couple of years ago, but due to ongoing injury problems has only competed on one occasion. However, many will remember his past career as an elite athlete when he was knocking on the international door, particularly on the road. Well he gave us more than a glimpse of his ability to compete at the top level again by clocking our second fastest time in the Midland relay, clocking only 9 seconds over the 18 minute barrier that is the measure of real class. He has been dabbling in triathlons over the last year and it’s clearly given him the motivation and fitness to race again. On this form it is almost like having a new signing, and provided he can avoid injury, the chronic repetition of which was why he gave up before, he is going to prove an invaluable addition to our first team squad.
2 JON WILLS – Jon maintained his reputation as a first lap runner par excellence when he once again gave us a great start in the Midland 6-stage, coming home a comfortable winner on the opening leg in 17:52, which was the eighth fastest of the day. But by his own admission it was indeed a little too comfortable as he felt he should have left the lead pack earlier in the race. One suspects he will not have the option in the National !
3 = TOM MERSON and HARRY WEBB – Tom knew he was not race fit for the relatively short distance of the 6-stage, but still produced a reasonable run of 18:39, while Harry, though some way short of his 18 minute target , had been suffering with a viral infection leading up to the event and did well to get round in 18:52 and bring us home in 5th place.
1 IMOGEN AINSWORTH – Imo dipped under the 15 minute barrier for the first time in the Midland 4-stage relay championship, her time of 14:59 proving the 5th fastest overall, a second faster in fact than international Emily Pidgeon.
Her run not only ensured we would take the silver medals again, but enabled anchor runner Rebekah Randell to have champions Charnwood in sight throughout the final stage.
2 KATE GOODHEAD – Kate missed the relay after being invited to represent the Midlands in the Swansea Bay 10K and produced a fine effort there to finish second Briton and 3rd overall in 35:13.
3 REBEKAH RANDELL – After a summer campaign wrecked by injury and illness Rebekah made a more than respectable return to competition by chasing Charnwood international Tara Krzywicki all the way on the final stage of the Midland road relay, her reward 9th= fastest time of 15:09.
1 THE U17 TRIO of HOBIE MARTIN, ZAK TOBIAS & RHYS PARK – It would be invidious to discriminate among the performances of our silver-medal winning trio in the Midland U17 road relay championship. All clocked times among the top 7 overall – Hobie 11:55; Zak 12:18; Rhys 12:11. After Hobie and Zak had given us a lead over the equally talented Stroud trio of Aaron Phelps, Will Paulson and Tom Purnell, Rhys ran himself all out in a vain attempt to hold off Purnell’s challenge on the anchor leg and was only just denied by the powerful Stroud lad who needed to post the day’s fastest time of 11:45 to clinch the gold medals. Such is the standard of these two teams that both should be serious contenders in the National.
2 LUKE JACOBS – Luke only just missed selection for the ‘A’ team in the relay and by clocking the 11th fastest time overall of 12:26 proved that we have an outstanding reserve waiting in the wings.
3 MATT PETERS – A last minute substitue, Matt survived a nerve-wracking debut for the senior team and let no one down, his time of 19:27 on the 4th leg ensuring that our depleted team kept on course for our target on the day of a place in the top six.
1 THE TRIUMPHANT U17 TEAM of OLIVIA SADLER, ANNABEL GUMMOW and NAOMI SPEAKE – Our trio scorched to an overwhelming victory in the Midland U7 road relay championship, winning by a remarkable margin of over two minutes, and like the boys in their corresponding event all three were among the seven fastest in the event, Annabel’s 13:08 not only being the day’s quickest, but by more than half a minute. Olivia continued the fine form she showed on the track this summer with the 4th fastest time of 13:55 on the opening stage, while after Annabel’s flying effort Naomi was able to cruise round to victory on the last leg in 14:25. Provided all three are available they must have an excellent chance of bursting the Aldershot bubble in the National!
2 HANNAH ALDERSON – Hannah made an impressive championship debut for the senior team in the Midland road relay. Unphased by being pitted against three internationals Hannah Whitmore, Rose-Ann Galligan and Claire Martin on the first stage, she went with them, and though it inevitably took its toll she hung on bravely to come home a good 4th only two seconds behind Martin in what proved to be the 9th= fastest time overall of 15:09. She is clearly going to be major asset to our senior team.
3 ELLIE WIMSHURST – After a summer when exams and injury intervened Ellie, who like Hannah is still only 18, was called into the ‘A’ team to replace Nikki Brookland in the Midland relay and more than did the job required to put us in medal contention with a good time for her current fitness level of 15:43.
There were no performances of note this week
1 CAMILLA BRIGGS – Camilla followed up her fine 4th place finish in the BMAF 10K road race championship by clocking an impressive 16:04 for the ‘B’ team in the Midland road relay to prove that she is going to be a very useful addition to our leading senior squad.
2 CLARE STEVINSON – What can I say. Clare is simply irreplaceable. Despite still being ravaged by her chronic back problems that prevent her doing more than the occasional run, she always brings her kit in case needed, which she invariably is! Once again she came to the rescue for the ‘B’ team, and what’s more still produced a more than respectable time of 16:56 that would have not disgraced many clubs’ ‘A’ teams.
3 AMY CHALK – Amy is resolutely regaining her fitness after the birth of her second child and tested it in the latest Swindon Parkrun 5K, her result a more than satisfactory time of 18:33.
TEAM MANAGERS’ CLAIM
P.S. We always like to check our position among the hierarchy of clubs as indicated by the results of the relays, and once again we can lay claim to being the Midland’s top club. This time we just edged out Coventry Godiva as top club on the basis of the combined men’s and women’s times, while if you include the U17 Young Athletes results there can be no argument!!
MIKE DOWN .