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BMAF Road Relays 2017

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helen debbie jean ann liz

Helen, Debbie, Jean, Ann and Liz

Once again this event clashed (same weekend) with the Calderdale Way Relay and consequently meant we were short of volunteers to run only managing enough to enter 4 teams with hardly any reserves. In the end we managed 3 teams on the day having lost the M45+ team. The M55+ team were also weakened when Steve Berridge’s Achilles failed to heal in time and I had to step in and run the last leg to make up the team.

margaret bronze medal

Margaret with her bronze medal

This year the Women’s / M75+ race was split so the F35+ and F45+ teams went off 5 minutes before the F55+, F65+ and M75+ teams. Margaret Sykes ran the 1st leg for the M45+ team and came back 2nd in her age group and what eventually proved to be the 3rd fastest time of the day in the F45+ age group. Debbie Beck took the 2nd leg and was up against some stiff competition dropping 12 places but still ran faster than last year to record 23:56, so an excellent effort. On the last leg we had Helen Pettit who put in her usual strong performance to pick up one place, to finish 13th team of 28, in 21:32.

jax approach finish

Jax France approaches the finish

The F55+ team was led off by a very nervous Jax France making a return to racing this year. After a strong run Jax came back 5th in 22:30 and handed over to Jean Shotter, more often associated with the fells but always a strong supporter of the Road Relays. Not being the fastest on the flat but always showing great strength, the undulating course suits Jean and she ran an excellent 22:47 to remain in 5th overall. On the last leg we should have had Lesley Ewart but injury had forced her out and so Ann Smith had bravely stepped in to make up the team. Ann is another of our runners who would be the first to admit is not fast but she always turns out for the team whenever she is able. Once again she did us proud coming in 8th overall in 30:59.

This is an age group where we could easily win a medal if we can ever get out our strongest team.

andy kevin rob

Andy, Kevin and Rob

The only men’s team making it to the start line was the M55+ team, although with all the team being towards the end of the age group (or over in Rob’s case) we were always going to be struggling for pace. On the first leg we had Andy Hauser, who again is a fell runner but always supports the relays. Andy came back 23rd in 20:24 and handed on to Kevin Yewlett who held on to 23rd, running 21:41. I ran the final leg and, predictably having had 4+ months off, struggled round in 23:43 but at least we finished a team.

Many thanks to all those that volunteered to run, whether or not we eventually managed a team and also to the supporters on the day.

Copyright Holmfirth Harriers Athletics Club 2012