To start and finish three teams in a National Road Relay Championship is a team managers dream and as usual the lads rose to the occasion.
The ‘A’ team consisted of the three gold medalists from the previous Midland champs so no pressure! Aidan OSCROFT (14.10) led off with great determination in what was a truly fast first stage. Cole EDMONDS (14.35) ran a cracking second leg improving his course PB by over 15 seconds and consolidating his place in the ‘A’ team. By the time Rufus THOMAS (14.24) took over on the final stage the early leaders were well away but Rufus ran well to make up several positions and bring the team home in a very creditable 12th position. The overall time was 43minutes 09 seconds. Last year this time would have given Bristol & West eighth position, such was the strong opposition we encountered yesterday.
The composition of the ‘B’ team was very interesting, comprising of new member Jay AKBAR (14.40) who is very new to running at this level; he kept his cool and proved what a great strength he will add to the squad this winter. Youngster Joseph HULL (16.01) negotiated the change over well on the second leg to run solidly before handing over to old timer Beck HARDING HILL (14.51). This was the PB of the day by 3 minutes. It proves what a difference a year can make if you train consistently. Becks fine effect resulted in 31st place overall for the ‘B’ team.
As a coach, the performance of the ‘C’ team really amazed me. Leading off was Jacob ROE (16.57) who is never fazed on the big occasion. Making the most of this highly competitive first leg his PB was well deserved and this set the stage to what was to follow. Amos KINGSTON (17.22) wanted to prove that you can run a large PB and still smile all the way round: he did exactly that before handing over to Henry GODFREE (19.21) who showed a remarkable improvement of over 2 minutes. Finishing fiftieth and having such fun will – I am sure – lead to greater success next year.
The commitment all these lads have shown throughout both relay fixtures is to be applauded. Many thanks to all the parents who have supported the team with transport, cakes and helped to keep me calm, it is much appreciated.
The photo below sums up the day.
Ali Hurford Reports.