We caught up with Owain Jones, who stepped in on the day to manage our women's teams.
Saturday saw the much-anticipated return of the Ladies Midland 4 stage relays at Sutton Park and team manager Chris Elson had assembled 3 strong teams of Bristol and West ladies, excited for some relay action in warm, near perfect conditions.
The first leg featured triathlete Kate Mactear who ran a well-paced leg to come home in 10th position, clocking 15:38 against a very competitive field. Lucy Wallace was well to the fore at the bottom of the first hill and held on well to take 24th place while Alice Watson’s conservative start paid dividends as she moved through well later in the race to finish in 52nd place.
Leg 2 saw Natalie Bretherton on her debut at Sutton Park bringing the A-team up to 5th place after overtaking 5 other athletes. Not far behind, Claire Joliffe carved her way through the field, making up 7 places to bring the B-team into 17th. Bragging rights for most places gained on the day by a B&W athlete go to Emma Joliffe however, for a very impressive +13 places with a strong run moving the C-team up into the top 40.
Annie Carroll continued the charge on Leg 3, gaining a further 3 places as the A-team moved into second place. Liz Sanigar showed she had recovered well from her top 10 finish in the Bristol Half Marathon the week before, picking up 8 places to bring the B-team up to 9th. The C-team’s assault on the leader board continued thanks to a fine run from Hannah Dyer (17:13) which gained 11 places to 28th and may be enough to secure her a slot in the B-team at the national round in 2 weeks’ time.
Elaina Gard continued her return from injury to bring the team home in a fantastic 5th place. Not far behind, 17-year-old Danni Sinclair made a strong first appearance in the ladies’ road team, completing the B-team in 10th place and second B-team, only 34s behind Birchfield’s B-team. Anna Ford ran strongly and was cheered home enthusiastically by the rest of the squad as she gained a further 4 places for the C-team, ending up 24th overall and first C-team.
Final positions of 5th, 10th and 24th bodes very well for the National Road Relays in 2 weeks’ time, many of the squad were making their Sutton Park debut this weekend and will surely benefit from the experience, especially in the notoriously tricky changeover pen. Well done to all who competed in a very enjoyable Midland Road Relays and we look forward to the Nationals!
Full results: https://www.race-results.co.uk/results/2021/m621.pdf