A grand day out at Sutton Park for the Midland Road Relays.
We set off in the team minibus nice and early and had a smooth journey to the beautiful Sutton Park. With several first time runners in the Team there was much anticipation and a few nerves. After successfully parking the minibus we headed off for the famous red Bristol & West tent.
Under-13 – The team were given a strong start with Grace Ashurst 16.07 handing over in seventeenth but with a vastly improved time from previous year. Danni Sinclair then continued her good progress with another strong leg recording a very creditable 16.25 and gaining 4 places. Alice Bridger Morales then got the team up to ninth with an improvement on her previous best with 15.51. Well done girls, bodes well for the Cross-Country season.
Under-15 – Several teams (nearly 4) here with all appearing to run well in general despite one or two nursing injuries.
A – Rosie Whitehead 16.08. Molly Orchard 17.19, and Nelly Bridger Morales 15.52 brought the team home in tenth overall. Rosie will know she will perform better when not injured, but Molly ran much faster than in the previous year and Nelly also improved on the previous year. I feel there is more to come from these girls and again the Cross-Country season is looking promising.
B – Grace Evans, Josie Davies and Elle Radford finished in twenty-sixth place overall and seventh for B teams. All ran well. Josie ran a time that would have fitted in the A team!
C – The C team came home not far off the B team in twenty-eighth place with some strong all round efforts in their first race for Bristol & West. Matilda Jones, Sophie Whiteford and Taryn Zahringer should all feel pleased with themselves and can now grow in confidence of their abilities. Matilda was another who ran a time good enough for the team above.
D – Emily Sheppard and Anya Wheatley, again first timers for Bristol & West should also feel pleased with their efforts and have gained confidence in themselves. Shame they did not have a third to make a completed team. Emily Sheppard gets the performance of the day for making it round the course.
Under-17 -This race saw the return of Alice Davies (14.45) and Elizabeth Plews (15.07) who both missed this event last year through long term illness and injury respectively. Alice, a two time Silver medalist at this event, ran a rock solid first leg bringing the team through in third position, Lizzie consolidated this position, running powerfully and handed over to Olivia Burton just behind the second athlete. Olivia (14.38) a course specialist with Gold and Silver medals from previous Midland championships produced another fine performance sweeping past the Bromsgrove & Redditch athlete to finish in a clear second position. The quality of the girls performances can be seen with Olivia fifth, Alice eighth and Lizzie eleventh in the table of fastest overall leg times.
Left to right, Olivia, Lizzie and Alice after being presented with their medals.
The girls all seemed to enjoy themselves, particularly after they had raced. I am pleased we had such a good turn out and are mixing well with the girls from Alan’s group. Their face paint and stickers ensured we were well and truly recognised and would not have looked out of place at a festival, but all harmless fun.
Looking forward to the Nationals, and particularly the Gwent League series of races.
Paul Owen’s Athlete of the Day… a tough one, I am going to cheat and award it to Danni Sinclair and Alice Bridger Morales, both I feel put in excellent efforts.
Paul Owen and Alan Thomas Report.