Northern Junior Road Relays Sunday 24th September 2023
The road relay championships is one of the highlights of the distance running calendar. The standard of competition is high with the best junior distance runners in the North of England competing for their clubs in a road relay format. The races are split into categories based on age and gender and each team is made up of three athletes.
This year we were pleased to enter 3 teams in the competition, 2 teams in the girls under 13 age category and 1 team in the girls under 15 age category. Nearly all our juniors were competing in these championships for the first time and we were so proud of the way they competed. Each one of them gave 100%.
First up was the Under 13 Girls race. Annabel McFarlane and Soraya Thomas had the responsibility of leading our teams off on leg 1. As always when the gun went the field set off at an incredibly fast pace that would be difficult to sustain for most athletes. Annabel was really competitive with some top Juniors and ran a superb race to come back in 14th place. Soraya suffered some misfortune towards the end of her leg when she suffered a strain in her ankle. Knowing she had to finish to handover to her teammate, she showed great courage to complete her run for the B team in a creditable 33rd place.
Florence Gibbs was on Leg 2 for the A team and she continued the good work with a superbly judged leg, holding onto 14th place for the team. Emily Coulson, who’s running had been limited in recent weeks following a knee injury, took over from Soraya for the B team and she also ran a strong leg to pick up a few places and hand over in 28th place.
By leg 3 a lot of the teams were spread out and so the challenge for the runners is to push hard whilst finding themselves running on their own for a large part of the leg. Bethan Morris, the team’s youngest athlete, showed excellent form and superb concentration to bring the A team home in a fantastic 14th place. On leg 3 for the B team was Paradice Waterman, she set off well and maintained a good effort all the way round the course to safely bring the B team home in an excellent 30th place overall.
Next up was the Under 15 girls’ team. Isobel Coulson was given the job of leading the team off on leg 1. Again, the field set off at a near sprinting pace that was never going to be sustainable. Isobel kept a cool head and went off at a fast but realistic pace and picked off tiring runners coming back in an excellent 33rd place. Next up was Florence Jones on leg 2. Florence is one of our most versatile junior athletes and is always available to run and compete for the club. She backed Isobel up with solid run to come back in 35th place. Finally, Maya Winter, complete with a cold that she’d been suffering from all weekend ran leg 3. She refused to dropout due to illness as she didn’t want to let her friends and teammates down. She battled round the course with a determined effort to ensure we got a team round and finished the race with the team in 35th position.
A massive, well done to all the Juniors, a credit to the club by showing talent, character, and team spirit in abundance.
Next up on the calendar for Juniors is the West Yorkshire Cross Country League and the Northern Cross Country Relays. See the events pages for details. The more Juniors we have at these events the better it is for everyone involved.