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Road Section

English Road Running Association Mens 12 Stage and Ladies 6 Stage Road Relays

Mark BuckinghamThe annual English Road Running Association Mens 12 Stage and Ladies 6 Stage Road Relays took place once again at a sunny Sutton Park on Saturday 9th April. The event gives Holmfirth Harriers athletes the opportunity to compete against some of the best athletes in the country and the mens and ladies teams were looking forward to this challenge when they set off to the midlands early on Saturday morning.

The mens 12 stage race is run over alternate long legs, 5.8 miles, and short legs, 3 miles. It was up to the recently crowned British Duathlon champion Mark Buckingham to lead the team off in the warm temperatures and Buckingham took to the challenge leading the pack. It soon became a three way battle between Buckingham and athletes from Morpeth and Sunderland but it was Buckingham who came away to finish first in a time of 26:04, the fourth fastest of the day, and give the team a fantastic start. David Turnbull took over on the second leg with a 1 second lead and quickly was overtaken by the Morpeth runner. Turnbull however maintained the distance between them and in the last mile showed his endurance, which will be required in Sundays London marathon, to take 1st place back and extend the teams lead to four seconds with a time of 15:06. This was some start and more than even the most optimistic Harriers supporters had expected. Richard Anderson then had a difficult task to maintain this in his first attempt at this course and ran well to record a time of 29:27 but slipping back in the field. Matthew Pierson took back 3 places against some quality runners and looked to be getting back to somewhere near his best after a frustrating period of irritating injuries. Pierson ran a time of 14:45 leaving the team in 16th place. Richard Smith then ran a time of 30:46, which left the Harriers in 25th place before handing on to Dave Watson. Watson, another Harrier who will be in action in the London Marathon, picked up three places in a time of 15:38 to leave the team in 22nd place at the halfway stage.

Margaret SykesMatthew Johnson, fresh from a warm weather training stint in Portugal, put in his best performance on this course to run a time of 29:50 and maintain the teams position. Nathan Martin, on his first run at this event, then put together a good performance to run a time of 17:36 before handing over to recent recruit Rob Savine. Savine, following up from his performance at the Northern qualifying event, put in a good effort in the heat recording a time of 32:14 with the team in 29th place. Triathlon specialist Steve Rimmer took to the course to run a time of 18:48 before handing over to Julian Rose on leg 11. A time of 31:33 put the team in 34th place and Brandon Holroyd maintained this with a time of 18:30 and an overall time of 4:40:20. The winners in a very tight race were Tipton Harriers with Morpeth being the highest placed Northern team in 3rd place.

The ladies 6 stage race was run over the same 3 mile course as the men’s short leg.  First off for the Holmfirth ladies was Katie Walshaw who ran a PB on this course, knocking almost 30 seconds of her previous best time.  Katie finished 21st in 17:37.  Helen Berry held her position throughout leg 2, but with 4 first leg runners not having complete teams, Holmfirth’s position was raised to 17th.  Helen ran a time of 18:25.  Margaret Sykes, in her first road relay event for the club, ran well to handover in 24th place in 19:52.  Cara Penfold, who made the team selection after her performance at the recent Northern Athletics road relay event, was unlucky to suffer in the heat and dropped 9 places on leg 4 in a time of 21:41.  With some last minute changes to the team running order due to delays on the journey meant that Kath Farquhar had to run the 5th leg and she did well to pick up from 33rd to 26th position (18:42).  On the final leg, Lesley Ewart ran well in 20:32 bringing the team home in 24th position in an overall time of 1:56:51.  The event was won by Aldershot, Farnham & District in a time of 1:41:21, with their final runner, GB international Charlotte Purdue, recording the fastest time of the day (15:23).




About Us

Rob Kersey

Road secretary

Dave Turnbull

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Welcome to the road running section of Holmfirth Harriers.


Holmfirth have a long and successful history on the roads and today our road runners represent the club on the local, national and international stage! We are keen to see all our members participate in events on the road and represent the club far and wider regardless of ability!


If you have anything of interest for this section please contact Dave.



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