Vets Scoop Medals at YVAA Road Relay Championships (2)

Holmfirth Harriers Vets Scoop Medals at YVAA Road Relay Championships

On a busy weekend for road relay races and after some brilliant results at the Yorkshire Road Relays by juniors and open age seniors on Saturday, Holmfirth Harriers Vets were out in strength on Sunday at the YVAA Road Relays at Robert’s Park, Saltaire. In all 6 teams from Holmfirth made the start line as part of a 53 team race. All agreed it was a great event and everyone from the fastest (Dave Watson, fastest time of the day) to the slowest Den Kersey (knocked 2 minutes off last year's time) gave everything on the day and as a bonus we won a number of medals; 2nd in F35 - 44, 3rd in F45 - 54, 1st in F55+, 4th in M40 - 49, 1st in M50 - 59, 7th in M60 - 69. Many thanks to all those that ran and also to those that offered to run but for whom we couldn't raise a team.

IMG 2290From the start Dave Watson, M40 – 49, made his intention clear moving rapidly into the lead and extending this to 17 seconds by the end of the first leg to finish in 14:19. Brandon Holroyd ran an excellent leg in 16:47dropping just two places to third he was followed by Gary Graham, 17:04, fourth and on the final leg by Jonathan King, 17:05 who maintained 4th place just one place outside of the medals. The M50 – 59 team also got off to a cracking start with Julian Rose running the fastest age group time of the day in 15:26. John Ewart took over on the second leg and again ran his usual gutsy race to bring the team back still first just 13 seconds in front of the chasing team from Sheffield. Jonny Sykes on the last leg set off steadily and it looked at first as if the chasing runner was closing rapidly but Jonny had obviously judged his race perfectly as he finished still in first place with the same 13 second gap as he started with! In the M60 - 69 race Kevin Yewlett ran the first leg and found the going tough but came back 5th in 18:49, he was followed by Bill Hunter, more often seen on the fells and stepping in for an injured Rob Kersey. Bill ran strongly to come back 7th in 22:35 and handed over to Steve Beardsell on the last leg. Steve pulled back a minute on the team in front, running 18:49, but this was not enough to pull the team up another place.

IMG 2304Holmfirth ladies have traditionally done well in all competitions in recent years and we had hopes of medals in at least the F35 – 44 and F45 – 54 events. In fact all three teams medalled. Jacqui Khoueiry, F35 – 44 was first Harrier home after the first leg finishing 2nd in 17:25 just 13 seconds behind Wakefield she handed on to Kath Farquhar who ran the 2nd fastest time of the day, 17:01 to take over the lead with Wakefield now 2nd, 26 seconds back. On the last leg Margaret Sykes came up against Julie Briscoe who has run at international level and although running an excellent 17:30 she was passed by Julie who ran the fastest leg of the day 16:23. A great ding dong battle with a well deserved silver medal. In the F45 – 54 age group Julia Johnson took the first leg, ran her usual strong race and came back 2nd in 18:00 behind Sue Becconsall of Bingley. She handed on to Helen Pettit who extended the lead over 3rd placed City of Hull finishing in 19:23. On the last leg Jean Shotter, who normally runs over the mud of the fells and over longer distances, knew she was going to be chased hard. In the event despite giving everything she could, she came up against the 3rd fastest runner in the age group running 17:28 to Jean’s 22:25 and was overtaken but still finished in an excellent 3rd place. In the F55+ event we have done well in the last two years finishing 1st and 2nd but with an increasing number of teams entered, 6 this year, and with Lesley Ewart out injured for most of the year and Barbara Hinchliffe coming back after a broken leg we had no idea how we would get on. Lesley ran the first leg and ran the fastest leg of the day, 19:02 to bring the team home first and hand onto Barbara. Barbara is not a lover of tarmac being another runner that prefers the hills and fells but she ran a storming leg, third fastest of the day to keep the team in first place and nearly five minutes in front of the second team Barnsley AC. Den Kersey on the last leg would be the first to admit she is not a fast runner and in fact on her last year’s time would have been easily caught by the last Barnsley runner. Den, enjoying the cooler conditions, knocked two minutes off her time of last year and brought the team home still in first place with over a minute to spare in 26:47; a great day’s racing. The next team event is the YVAA Cross Country Relays at Graves Park, Sheffield.


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