8 Apr

Midland Mens 12 and Womens 6 Stage Road Relay Championships

Jane Potter in action  at the Relays

Beautiful spring weather greeted the teams, who turned out on Saturday 2 April for the Brooks Midland Mens 12 and Womens 6 Stage Road Relay Championships at Sutton Park, Birmingham. This Midlands Counties event is a highpoint of the road-running calendar with clubs across the region looking to qualify for the National Relays in mid-April. 
The event began with a minute’s silence for Birchfield Harriers stalwart Tom McCook who passed away in February. This former club president and Athletics Weekely contributor was a popular figure at athletics meetings and was the recipient of the Ron Pickering Memorial Award more than 10 years ago for services to the sport. 
The Mens 12 stage race consisted of four long legs and eight short legs with 64 teams (of 12 runners) lining up at 12:00 to compete for those all-important qualification places. 

The winning team was Bristol & West AC in 4:01:48 followed by Cheltenham & County Harriers in 4:02:00. Notts AC narrowly beaten into third with 4:02:19. Graham Rush of Cheltenham & County Harriers ran the fastest long leg with Douglas Musson of Notts AC running the fastest short leg. 
The Womens 6 stage race started at 12:20 with two long legs and four short legs for the 47 teams (of six runners) also looking to qualify for the National Relays.

The top spot went to Charnwood AC in a time of 2:23:24 with Birchfield Harriers second in 2:24:40. Third place went to Notts AC in 2:24:44. There was another win for Charnwood AC with Jane Potter running the fastest long leg in 29:58. Charlotte Green of Bristol & West AC ran the fastest short leg in 17:55. 

Photo courtesy of Bryan Dale