Kirsty Addy reports:
After 2 years of finishing just outside the medals, TVH ladies were on a mission to go one step further and finally get on that podium at the Southern Road Relays. With the news that we also had a mini Manuel joining Thames Valley as an assistant team manager we were keen to welcome Leo Joshua in the right way!
The relay was made up of 2 long legs and 4 short and had a lovely rolling downhill to start. According to our technical adviser, Handy Garmin we think the course was somewhere in between the 4.26km stated this year and the 4.8km that was stated last year. It also had a sexy uphill with a big fat head wind on the way back. But with everyone in the same boat, we all committed and were in contention from the very beginning.
Fiona Thompson got us off to a great start making it look easy. She handed over in second just behind Herne Hill, setting up Ann Marie McGylnn perfectly for the first long leg. We then took the lead and had created more than a 1 minute buffer over second place by the next changeover.
Heather Timmins managed to extend the lead further during a rapid 3rd leg and Tracy Barlow pulled it out of the bag on leg 4 so that we’d created almost a 2 minute advantage.
We had a significant lead and it was now time to see if we could hold onto it until the end, or whether the other teams had any more cards up their sleeve. On 5th leg the Winchester athlete was hunting Kirsty Addy down and had begun to close the gap. It was now down to under a minute and so was all to play for on the last leg. Kate Olding took over on her debut for TVH with a valiant effort, especially for an 800m specialist! She held on for over a lap but Winchester managed to pass us on the final lap in what was an exciting finish to a great event.
Being so close to the gold means the TVH ladies still have unfinished business here at the relays but were ecstatic to medal! So much in fact that they missed the medal ceremony whilst drinking tea after the race… Luckily when we realised the organisers called them up to receive their medals, so we could take home the silverware.
Thanks to all that were out on the course supporting us! We just missed out this time, but we’ll be back for Gold later this year!
Saturday 25th March 2017, Gravesend Cyclopark, SEAA 6 Stage Senior Women’s results:
Leg 1 (short) 2nd Fiona Thompson 15:17 (8th overall fastest short leg)
Leg 2 (long) 1st Ann Marie McGlynn 22:08 (2nd overall fastest long leg)
Leg 3 (short) 1st Heather Timmins 15:03 (4th overall fastest short leg)
Leg 4 (long) 1st Tracy Barlow 22:24 (4th overall fastest long leg)
Leg 5 (short) 1st Kirsty Addy 16:08
Leg 6 (short) 2nd Kate Olding 16:32
1st Winchester & District 1:47:16
2nd Thames Valley Harriers 1:47:32
3rd Aldershot Farnham & District 1:48:14