Northern Athletics Road Relay Championships

Birchwood Park, Warrington
Saturday 20 September 2014

The senior races took place over two 3,000m laps incorporating a number of tight bends. There were 140 teams contesting the Men’s Championships, with almost 800 athletes participating including some of the best talent in the North of England.

Mark Buckingham leads from the start

Fastest time of the day, Mark Buckingham 18.07

Elite triathlete, Mark Buckingham about to commence his 24th year wearing the amber and black of Holmfirth showed his class on leg 1, jostling for position on the first 3km lap, before moving into the lead and showing a clean pair of heels to the leaders winning the leg in a super-fast time of 18.07, which proved to be the fastest time of the day. Richard Smith faced the prospect of battling against the big city teams of Yorkshire and Lancashire, but coped well only conceding five places bringing the team back in 6th place on leg 2 with an individual time of 20.07. Peter Brookes ran well on stage 3 finishing in 11th place, recording a time of 20.23, before handing over to Dave Turnbull who showed it is possible to cope with a new baby in the home, finishing leg 4 in 14th place in a time of 20.41. Stu Sharp gave a good performance on the penultimate leg maintaining 14th place with a time of 21.03 and Dave Watson demonstrated his class at almost 44 years of age brought the team home in 14th place, the third fastest time of the Holmfirth men (20.09) and a total time of 2:00:30; an excellent result.

Maggie Sykes road relays

Maggie Sykes runs an impressive
leg finishing in 23:26

Holmfirth’s ‘B’ team (with their finishing position and time in brackets) finished 70th (2:14:47) out of the 114 complete teams consisting of Julian Rose (87th 21.57), Phil Hewitt (66th 21.18), Scott Smith (73rd 23.16), Robert Hinchliffe-Smith (73rd 23.09), Dan Shaw (76th 23.42) and Alistair Langron (70th 21.23). This was a good performance by the Holmfirth men including two teenagers and the strength of the club was further demonstrated by another six men providing a ‘C’ team which finished 101st (2:30:56), with Ricky South (109th 23.59), Kai Sunman (97th 22.22), Eddie Hinchliffe-Smith (101st 25.03), Shaun Coggon (102nd 26.27), Jake Richardson (102nd 25.41) and Keelan Serjeant (101st 27.24).

The winning men’s team was Stockport Harriers & AC in 1:52:09, Leeds City Athletic Club was 2nd 1:53:02 and Sale Harriers Manchester 3rd in 1:54:59. Holmfirth’s “A” team qualifies for the National Road Relay Championships to be held at Sutton Park on Saturday 4 October 2014.

The Women’s Championships started just five minutes after the Men’s, making for quite a spectacle for supporters, on what became a very busy course with 77 runners setting off on leg 1.  First off for the Holmfirth women was Ladies’ Captain, Helen Berry, with a strong and consistent run returning in 10th place in 23:03.

Holmfirth ladies teams Northern 4 stage RRs 2014

The ladies A, B and C team members

  Maggie Sykes had a superb run on leg 2, picking up 3 places in 23:26.  Claire Leaver put in a gutsy performance, dropping just one place in 24:22 and with Helen Fines maintaining the team position of 8th in 23:33 the Holmfirth quartet clocked a total time of 1:34:24.

The ‘B’ team (with their finishing position and time in brackets), which included two athletes who have just moved up to the senior level, put in a fine performance finishing in 34th place (1:44:42) out of the 68 complete teams.  The ‘B’ team was Lucy Farquhar (41st 25:18), Ruby Sykes (30th 25:32), Sophie Spencer (35th 27:41) and Liz Woodfield (34th 26:11).

Not to be out-done by the men, the women also fielded a third team which finished 59th (1:58:17) with Yvette Arthur (69th 27:53), Emma Serjeant (64th 30:17), Dinah Coggon (58th 28:49) and Jo Bailey-Taylor (59th 31:18).

The highlight of the junior races ,which were run in the morning over variations of the 3,000m course was the under 17 Men finishing in 7th place. Lavell Pierre had a strong first leg (10:43) to put the team into 6th position. Alex Robinson took over and ran well (11:33) before passing on to Chris Law (11:01) for the final leg. The second team also ran strong with Aaron Kettlewell (11:16), Lewis Bartholomew (12:05) and Seth Waterman (11:37) finishing in 21st. Other junior results were U13 Boys Sam Bedingfield (12:00), Archie Hall (13:57) & Ned Johnson (12:26) were 25th Team. U15 Girls Annie Stone (12:23), Ellie Sunman (12:49) & Amy Kettlewell (13:29) were 22nd Team. U15 Boys Harry Shelbourne (10:40), William Johnson (12:39) & Ollie Rees (11:35) were 29th Team. U13 Girls Sophie Kettlewell (14:53) & Alice Shelbourne (14:39). U17 Women Daisy Smith (17:48).

Complete results from Northern Athletics:

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