Northern Athletics 12 & 6 stage road relays, 2016

Silksworth Sports Arena, Sunderland – Saturday 2nd April 

Last weekend Holmfirth Harriers travelled up to the North East to compete in the Northern Athletics Road Relay championships.  The event is held over 12 stages for men (legs 1, 3, 5 & 7  being 4 miles, with  the remainder just 2.2 miles). The women ran 6 legs; 2 long and 4 short.  

Silksworth Sports Arena is home not just to an athletics track, but a dry ski slope!  The course skirted the edge of the park and around a lake, with a couple of short but testing hills. 

With two teams in each event, it made for a great day with plenty of athletes to get out and support on the course, despite the rain. 

The men’s teams included some new faces and there were five of the younger athletes working their way successfully up into the senior ranks. 

Dave Turnbull had the dubious privilege of running the first leg, against some stiff opposition, but put in a strong run coming back in 23rd place (21.07). The first of the younger runners, Aaron Kettlewell, was off next, having a great run and pulling back four places up to 19th (11.38). Experienced Dave Watson on leg 3 gained two more places back to 17th (21.15). Dan Shaw on leg 4, 19th (12.35), with Stu Sharp on 5, having almost completed his training for the upcoming London Marathon, running our fastest long leg of the day, 17th (21.05). Three of our younger runners followed, all putting in excellent runs, Alex Robinson 16th (11.37), fastest short leg. Chris Law 15th (21.38). Kai Sunman 14th (12.02). Clark Hind on leg 9 gained one more place to 13th (12.40). The last runners to complete the team, Mark Law 16th, (13.18). The final young athlete, Lavelle Pierre, 16th, (12.34) and Steve Green 15th (12.42). Total time 3.04.11 

The B team consisting of some newcomers, a couple of younger members, some willing volunteers and the odd ageing veteran, put in a hardworking  performance. The star turn was Julian Rose who, despite having just recovered from illness, ran a faster short leg than all but two of the A team. 

1. Logan Anderson 46th (25.35) 

2. Julian Rose 45th (12.17) 

3. Juan Biurrun 46th (28.42) 

4. Matthew Rose 46th (14.46) 

5. Jonny Sykes 45th (25.20) 

6. Robert Hinchliffe-Smith 45th (12.36) 

7. John Ewart 45th (26.03) 

8. Jared Croft 44th (13.40) 

9. Simon Barrans 44th (14.46) 

10. Eddie Hinchliffe 44th (13.45) 

11. Jason Haigh 43rd (14.09) 

12. Sean Coggon 43rd (15.17)     Total time 3.36.56 


Salford Harriers powered to victory in 2:26:30, just over a minute ahead of defending champions Leeds 


The women’s race started just 5 minutes after the men’s. Helen Berry set off on leg 1 and ran strongly to get the team off to a good start in 7th (23:47). Ruby Sykes had a superb run in 13:19 to pick up 2 places. The next short leg saw Claire Leaver put in a good effort, with the team back in 8th, though with one of those places being lost to Olympic and Morpeth athlete, Laura Weightman who ran the fastest short leg of the day, no one could have held her off! Margaret Sykes held her position on the second long leg (25:31); a fine performance having only returned to racing in the last few months. Jordan Mullinger picked up one place again on leg 5 in 13:25 and Lucy Verrill brought the team home in 8th (14:50) in an overall time of 1:45:18 amongst some top clubs .   

Leeds City retained their six-stage title, with a lead of around 90 seconds as they crossed the line in 1:35.41 

Holmfirth’s B team put in a fine performance, with all but one member being veterans.  The team finished 21st of 33 complete teams in a time of 1:55:04. Lorraine Smith put on a brave performance through a bout of sciatica on leg 1, crossing the line in 30th.  The team gradually worked their way up the field as each leg went on, with Liz Woodfield gaining a place on leg 2 (14:39) and Zoe Storr having a fantastic run on leg 3 to pick up 4 further places (13:51). Helen Pettit, who is preparing for the London marathon in a few weeks, ran exactly the same time as Lorraine’s long leg, moving the team up to 24th.  On the final two legs Lesley Ewart and Jo Bailey Taylor ran 15:08 and 15:56 respectively. 

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

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