Northern Road Relays 2014

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Northern Athletics Road Relay Championships  – 15th March 2014

Heaton Park in Manchester was host to the Northern Road Relay 12 and 6 stage road relays last Saturday.  Whilst most of the country enjoyed a sunny and warm weekend, the conditions were cool, grey and windy for the Holmfirth Harriers athletes and supporters that made the trip across the Pennines.

Peter Brookes NRRs1The senior men’s 12 stage set off at 11:30am, with the women’s race in quick succession at 11:35am, making it a very busy course and spectacle for the supporters.  Fielding two teams the men were put to the test on a hilly course in very windy conditions. The race has alternate long and short legs of approx. 5.5 miles and 3 miles. Off first for the Harriers was Matthew Pierson who ran well, coming back in 13th place in 29.02. Student Craig Boggon took over on the short leg dropping to 15th in 16.54. Next Dave Turnbull, like Pierson deep into London Marathon training, pulled up to 14th in 30.09. Having just recovered from a hamstring injury not too much was expected of Richard Anderson on leg 4. However he pulled out all the stops finishing in 16.45 and up to 12th. Another Huddersfield University student, Peter Brookes, ran a great leg 5 in 29.33 and gained three places up to 9th. Following was Johnny McLean (17.27), Richard Smith (30.07) and Scott Smith (17.35) with the Harriers now in 11th place by the end of leg 8.  Veteran Dave Watson, still going as well as ever, ran 30.15 with Philip Hewitt 17.34, Stuart Sharpe 30.14, and over 50 vet Julian Rose 17.17 bringing the team home 11th and a final finishing time of 4.42.52. The race was won by Leeds City in 4.22.29.

As a result of their performance, the Men’s ‘A’ team has qualified for the National 12 stage road relays at Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield on 5th April.  Holmfirth’s ‘B’ team finished in 57th.

Holmfirth’s ladies showed their strength in depth even in the absence of international Katie Walshaw.  Helen Berry led the ‘A’ team off over the 3 mile course and had an excellent run in 9th place (18:12). The performance of the day came from British Fell Champion, Helen Fines, who took the team up to 2nd place with a flying run in a time of 18:07.  Maggie Sykes, using the event as a sharpener before the London Marathon next month, put in a tremendous effort to maintain 2nd place (19:12). Claire Leaver ran well amongst some very fast athletes, dropping to 6th place (19:34). Lucy Verrill, with her sights set on the Paris marathon in a few weeks, dropped just one more place (19:50) and Jacqui Khoueiry picked up the pace completing the circuit in 19:28 in 8th position in an overall time of 1:54:23.Helen Fines NRRs1

The ‘B’ team also produced some good performances.  Karen Sinkinson returned on the first leg in 44th (21:19), with Helen Pettit picking up nine places (21:35), Lucy Needham a further three to 31st (20:27) and Emma Serjeant returned in 30th on leg 4(23:34). Yvette Arthur, who valiantly stepped in at the last minute ahead of a 20 mile road race the following day, ran well dropping just one place (22:18) and Jo Bailey-Taylor put in every effort to bring the team home in 33rd (25:31) in an overall time of 2:14:44.

The race was won by Leigh Harriers in a time of 1:47:29, with Eleanor Vernon of Stockport clocking the fastest leg in 16:25.

Men’s ‘B’ team results (overall time 5:38:51);

1.Chris Beadle 33.58 58th

2. Richard McLeod 20.26 61st

3.Ed James 36.32 61st

4. Robert Robinson 21.07 61st

5. Brandon Holroyd 35.38 63rd

6. John Ewart 18.56 60th

7. Robert Hinchliffe-Smith 35.20 59th

8. Matthew Rose 21.20 59th

9. Jared Croft 35.33 57th

10. John Field 21.13 58th

11. Marwan Khouiery 38.02 58th

12. Phil Martin 20.35 57th.

 Many thanks to Norman Berry for more superb photos.

Copyright Holmfirth Harriers Athletics Club 2012