Bristol & West AC Men are English Road Relay Champions

Men’s Race

The men’s team finished second overall to Swansea on a day that was too hot for many at the 12 stage Road Relay at Sutton Park. After a steady start from Jack Bancroft (21) on the usually competitive first leg Jack Millar (15), Owain Jones (12), Luke Grenfell-Shaw (10), Steve Mitchell (6) and Adam Speake (5) worked the club back up through the field and into medal contention by the half-way point. On leg 7 Rich Peters lifted the club into second place which Josh Moody, Zac Tobias and Will Christofi maintained. Word was that Jonnie Mellor of Liverpool Harriers was in great shape and he set out behind Jarlath McKenna. Out on the course Jarlath had a 1 minute 12 second gap one mile into the lap which with just over 1k to go he had kept to 35 seconds and looked like maintaining until the early stages of heat exhaustion set in. Over the last 300 metres Jarlath really struggled and it is a testament to Jarlath’s mental toughness that he kept going to hand over to Ben Westhenry as Jonnie Mellor finally swept by. Ben quickly made up the necessary ground on the final lap to re-pass Liverpool and come home in a clear second place but way behind Swansea.

2  Bristol & West AC              ‘A’  4:19:55

Jack Bancroft    (21) 27:32

Jack Millar      (15) 16:00

Owain Jones      (12) 27:18

Luke Grenfell Shaw (10) 15:52

Stephen Mitchell (6) 26:28

Adam Speake      (5) 16:02

Richard Peters   (2) 26:54

Josh Moody       (2) 16:22

Zak Tobias       (2) 27:23

William Christofi (2) 17:09

Jarlath Mckenna  (3) 27:15

Benedict Westhenry (2) 15:40

Not to be outdone the B team were first B team by 90 seconds with really solid runs right throughout the team and three strong long legs from Miles Chandler, Phil Radford and Harry Allen. David Awde and Robbie Stewart both clocked sub-17 for their short legs with Will Davidson again getting a race in the massed start with his 17:05 placing him fifth in the race within a race. This team will only get stronger – I bet Chris Elson is already working on a top 30 finish next year.

35  Bristol & West AC              ‘B’  4:45:18

Maciej Bialogonski (54) 30:32

Robert Stewart   (49) 16:57

Miles Chandler   (43) 29:17

David Awde       (37) 16:27

Andy Salmon      (38) 30:49

Henry Sly        (38) 17:48

Phil Radford     (37) 29:31

Philip Parry     (37) 17:37

Berihu Hadera    (36) 31:10

Scott Watkins    (37) 18:22

Harry Allen      (36) 29:40

Will Davidson    (35) 17:08

Full results of the Men’s Race can be found at:

https://www.race-results.co.uk/results/2017/nat1217.pdf 

Ladies Race

Earlier in the afternoon the ladies finished in a creditable sixth place. Helen Sharpe gave the team a solid start finishing fourteenth and setting up Team Manager Keith Brackstone’s expected scenario which was Kate Maltby with a nice line of athletes to chase. Kate lifted the team up to second place posting the fastest time of the day on a short leg (16:38). As anticipated Olivia Sadler held her own losing just one place as she brought the team home in third place. Claire Hallissey ran a steady fourth leg but was disappointed to lose four places. Many’s the time Claire has made up more than that number and it was more a case of having some good athletes on her leg. Rebecca Awde pulled one place back to hand over in sixth place  and Charlotte Taylor-Green “fresh” from her long flight back from the States gained another place with the sixth fastest short leg of the day to finish fifth.

  5   Bristol & West AC             ‘A’  2:17:26

Helen Sharpe     (14) 32:14

Kate Maltby        (2) 16:38

Olivia Sadler       (3) 18:59

Claire Hallissey   (7) 32:35

Rebecca Awde    (6) 19:13

Charlotte Taylor-Green   (5) 17:27

An injury to Imogen Peck meant that Ellen Harrison was called up the night prior to the race and with Nicola Oldroyd on hand as a travelling reserve the Team Manager felt truly blessed having been unable to get one team together for 2016’s race. Julia Belyavin ran a solid first leg to finish twenty-fourth, Ellen Harrison lifted the team to twenty-third and Helen Newberry caught four more to hand-over in nineteenth place. Polly Ainsley stepped up to a long leg and acquitted herself well  gaining two places. Amelia Atkinson lost a place as she ran 20:41 on leg 5 before Fiona Marks caught two places on the last leg to finish sixteenth. By then the B team was first B team by almost 20 minutes!

16   Bristol & West AC             ‘B’  2:28:00

Julia Belyavin   (24) 33:31

Ellen Harrison   (23) 20:13

Helen Newberry   (19) 19:17

Polly Ainsley    (17) 35:18

Amelia Atkinson  (18) 20:41

Fiona Marks      (16) 19:00

Full ladies results are at the following link:

https://www.race-results.co.uk/results/2017/nat6w17.pdf

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