Keith Brackstone reports…
The club entered three teams for the Midland Road Relays and Team Manager Keith Brackstone was in the enviable position of having more runners wanting to race than available places. The team tactic was to have a strong start and try and hold on to a medal position with the Team Manager expecting a very strong Birchfield team to be likely winners if recent history was anything to go by. Natalie Griffiths ran an exceptionally well judged race to move up from sixth at the half-way point to finish second in 15:19 (fifth fastest leg of the day) as Bryony Gunn (14:55) gave Birchfield the early lead. On leg 2 Hannah Pollak ran 16:20 to come home in fourth place as Birchfield extended their lead. At this point Taunton AC were second and Charnwood were third. Izzy Talbot Price produced an absolute stormer on Leg 3 to lift the team back into a medal position as she clocked 15:49 (fifteenth fastest leg of the day). Catie O’Donoghue held a 10-second lead over Charnwood at the start of the fourth leg but was never going to hold off Great Britain International Gemma Steel and did well to dig in and hold off a fast finishing Floren Scrafton as Westbury Harriers closed to within one second at the end. Catie’s time was 17:06. Birchfield were indeed clear winners with Charnwood second and Taunton AC a surprise third in their first Midland Championships.
Becky Pierce led the B team off clocking 16:54 in twenty-second place. Katrina Entwistle produced her best race for the club to date as her clocking of 16:22 lifted the club into tenth place (a real A team performance). Lucy Wallace ran 17:21 to finish eleventh and Sarah Everitt clocked 17:11 to hold on to eleventh place at the finish (surely the fastest F50 time of the day).
Julia Belyavin showed she is returning to form with a 17:07 first leg for the C team A as she finished in twenty-sixth place. Alice Watson clocked 18:25 to bring the team home in twenty-ninth place with Emma Clarke picking up one place on Leg 3 as she ran 18:52. Louise Cronin (another F50) ran 18:28 on the last leg to bring the C Team home in thirty-second place.
There was great team support for each other on a very hot day at Sutton Park and we now look forward to the National Road Relays on Sunday 6th October 2019 when it is likely to be a lot cooler.