National Road Relays

Sutton Park, 3rd - 4th October 2015

Last weekend Holmfirth Harriers travelled down to Sutton Park near Birmingham for the English National Road Relays.  The Senior event, held on the Saturday is held over 6 stages of approx 6k for men and 4 stages of 4.3km for women. 

National RRs 2015 Claire Leaver Zoe Storr Lucy Farquhar Helen Berry 240

Claire Leaver, Zoe Storr,
Lucy Farquhar and Helen Berry

The women were first off and conditions were perfect for a fast race.  The Holmfirth team was the same as the recent Northern Championships, but with a different running order.  Helen Berry set off on leg 1 amongst a field of 85 and worked through well to finish 27th in 15:33. Claire Leaver may have been disappointed with her performance on leg 2 but in such a strong field she did well to return in 34th place in a time of 17:01. Triathlete Lucy Farquhar was keen to get her last race in with the club before leaving for her first term Oxford University just two days later and had a great run on leg 3 clocking 17:05 bringing the team back up to 27th.  Finally Zoe Storr took over from Lucy, dropping just 4 places with her 17:57 leg to bring the team home in a respectable 31st place in an overall time of 1:07:36, in a field of 67 complete teams.

Eleanor Vernon of Stockport Harriers recorded the fastest leg of the day with 14:11 and for the first time in 10 years Aldershot, Farnham & District did not retain their title. Swansea Harriers won in 59:14.

With such a popular Championship event, all men’s teams have to qualify through the regional event to limit numbers, which Holmfirth did successfully three weeks previously.

Peter Brooks Road Relays 240

Peter Brooks with an impressive
opening lap

The mens team of six included a few different members and it was great to see some of the junior athletes working their way successfully up into the senior ranks.

Peter Brookes was on the first leg. Having run at the Nationals previously he’s learned not to go off too fast and ran excellently, coming through the field and getting up to 6th place before just losing out in a sprint finish with a Derby runner to finally finish 7th in 17.41, the 4th fastest time by a Harrier this century. Dave Turnbull on leg 2, while still running well, bore the brunt of Peter’s fast time, slipped down the field to 33rd in 19.24. On 3 and 4 we had two youngsters making their debut, Aaron Kettlewell and Lavelle Pierre doing 20.21 (44th) and 20.31 (49th) respectively, a great effort from two lads who can only get better.  Dan Shaw on leg 5, recovering from an injury and not fully fit, bravely put his body on the line when others wouldn’t to record 23.26 (60th). Bringing home the team was Alistair Langron 21.30 (60th).

Total time 2.02.53


  1. Peter Brookes. 17.41 7th
  2. D Turnbull 19.24 33rd
  3. A Kettlewell 20.21 44th
  4. L. Pierre 20.31 49th
  5. Dan Shaw 23.26 60th
  6. Langron 21.30 60th

Andy Maud of Highgate Harriers in London recorded the fastest leg of the day with 17:03 and the title also went to a southern team, with Tonbridge AC finishing in an overall time of 1:47:24, just 5 seconds ahead of Derby AC

The following day it was the turn of the juniors.  Sadly only one team from Holmfirth made the trip but it was a fine performance by the Under 17 trio.  Olivia Sykes, fresh from her English Schools Fell Championship title and Silver medal at the Home Countries International race, made it a successful three weekends in a row.  

On the first leg Olivia made a great start, and came home in 2nd place, recording the 8th fastest time of the day in 13:52.  Lucy Byram ran well on leg 2 and at one stage found herself taking the lead.  She returned in 12th place in 15:22, whilst her sister Erica ran 15:08 on the anchor leg, bringing the team home in 14th place, which is a fine achievement on the national stage.  Next year all three girls will move into the senior ranks for this event, which should be very exciting!

Pre-2012 news, results & reports are on the old sites: 2009 to 2011, Pre-2009

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