National Vets RR 2014


National Vets Road Relays

17th May 2014

The BMAF (British Masters Athletic Federation) Road Relays were held at Sutton Park on Saturday 17th May, the day after the Presentation Evening. Before the Calderdale Way Relay changed its’ date to May and clashed with this event we regularly took male and female teams in every age group to this event. Having missed the last 3 years due to the clash we seem to have lost the tradition of taking part in this national event and only managed an F45+ and M55+ team this year. Nevertheless those that took part were blessed with fantastic, if hot for running weather and all had a great time. After an easy 2 hour journey I arrived at about 9.30 am and immediately met the M70 and M75 teams from Bingley and invited them to share our tent which I then proceeded to put up next to the finish straight. Julia and Martin arrived just in time to put the last pole in the sleeve, put a few pegs in and put up the flag and we were all ready for the rest to arrive.

V1 JuliaHelenNumbers were collected and running order agreed and Helen, Julia and Lesley jogged round part of the course to re-familiarise themselves with the route. Helen feeling a tweak in her calf tried some stretches and John, always at the ready, quickly got to work with liniment and massage while Helen groaned and grimaced!

The women’s race plus the M65+ and M75+ teams set off at 11.00 with Helen running the first leg for our F45+ team. The rest of us dashed between vantage points to cheer the runners on and try to get photographs of their efforts.

Helen stretches out her calf while Julia makes the most of the shade (and her shades!).

                                            The Start of the first raceV2 start

As always gave her all on the first leg and came in 40th overall, 11th F45 out of 89 teams and 23 F45 teams in a time of 20:39. After her leg she was despondent, beating herself up over how poorly she had run even though everybody else thought she had run well. It was only after the race was over and all the results were in that she realised that the whole team had run very similar times and her “poor run” wasn’t “poor” at all!

v3 Helen





Helen pushing hard




Lesley, who dropped down from F55 to run in the F45+ team took over on leg 2 and ran an almost identical time to Helen coming home in 20:40 in 26th place and 5th F45 team, handing over to Julia on the last leg. Julia ran 20:21 bringing the team up to 21st and 6th F45 team, an excellent performance on this national stage.


v4 Lesley


Lesley (left) and Julia (right)v5 Julia

On legs 2 and 3

It was also excellent to see local rivals Denby Dale ladies win the F45 race being 4th on leg 1, 2nd on leg 2 and winning by 49 seconds over 2nd placed Bristol. Two local clubs in the top 6 of this national event shows the strength of local running.

v6 womensTeam

                                          Lesley, Julia and Helen looking relaxed before the race.

v7 mensTeam

Kevin (standing to attention) with the more casual Andy and John ready for the 2nd race

The 2nd race started at 1.00pm and the temperature was now in the low 20’s and Andy had the job of leading off the M55 team. The M55’s were the oldest category in this race so were racing against runners in the M45+ and M35+ age group so have to expect to be well down the field. Andy ran our fastest leg in 18:42 coming back in 77th of 119 teams and 13th M55 out of 30 teams.

   v8 Andy

                                  Andy (right) showing the strain on the way back

Andy handed over to Kevin (below) who ran strongly to finish in 20:33 and in turn handing over to John on the last leg.

v9 KevinRecently returned from climbing in the Himalayas (extreme altitude training!) John ran 19:30 to bring the team home 15th M55 team.





                                                                                                John (below) battles with the Neath M45 team

v10 JohnE



This is a great event and if it doesn’t clash with the Calderdale Way Relay next year we will hopefully get more teams running. The more people the better the atmosphere I will be sending out dates as soon as they are advertised but it is usually about the 2nd weekend in May.


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