Emma Withers reports on the National Road Relays at Sutton Park…
18 u15 and u17 boys travelled to Birmingham for the second time in two weeks – a very eventful day!!
74 u15 teams set off at 12 midday. After safely getting the A runners into the pen, I watched them surge forward on the sound of the gun, with much pushing and shoving in such a narrow space it was no surprise that several runners fell, including two of our Bristol and West boys in the first 50m. Much praise goes to Amos Kingston and Jay Hunt who having a runner fall in front of them both with nowhere to go, somersaulted over him, without hesitation they picked themselves up and continued to run and catch the pack. Joseph Hull, who managed to miss the carnage, (14.56) led the first team in followed by Jay Hunt, in his first race this autumn season (15.07) and Amos Kingston (15.36) running the fastest time he has ever run at this event, clearly spurred on by the adrenaline of the fall.
The first of our second leg runners Misha Evans was delayed by a painful stitch on the way round, showed great resilience and bravely finished in 17.37, Fred Cummins determined to improve on his time from 2 weeks ago, finished strongly in 15.27 and Jacob Franklin, showing no tiredness from his 4k run the previous day, clocked 15.45, taking 3 minutes off his time from the Midlands.
Bringing the three teams home, Eoin O Halloran, who waited patiently in the pen for his B runner finally set off after much shouting and waving by his Team Manager to advise the marshalls to set him off, ran an amazing 14.12. Ollie Robertson Kurd ran 16.08, knocking 20 seconds off his debut cross country run 2 weeks previous and for the third team, Joe McNamara, ran a consistent race 19.08, managing a smile in the last 400m.
Our u17 mens first team had a slight change to the line up from 2 weeks ago. With Ollie Harper unable to run due to work commitments, Rufus Thomas stepped up. Fred Hawker led the team out, being used to the first leg commotion, and ran an accomplished 12.40 in 28th position. Jay Akbar, in his first year u17 category, went gliding round in 14.11 and the ever reliable Jacob Roe in 15.43. B runners, Steve Kerfoot, looking much more comfortable this time around, improved his time by almost 30 seconds, endurance improving each time following a fast track season. James Casling, also back to endurance training following a busy track season, 14.34 with an 11 second improvement and Cole Edmonds, also first year and first race this season, 14.36. C leg runners, Rufus Thomas (13.12) steadily working to overtake, making up 4 places, and brought the first team home in position 32. Otto Kingston, finally dipped under the 15 minute mark in 14.56, despite his knees not feeling their best at the start and Lewis Adamson, also coming back from injury finished in 14.45, looking comfortable and with clearly more to come in future races.
We are very much looking forward to the first of the Gwent League races this weekend at Cardiff.