This weekend the National road relays made their bi-annual visit to Sutton Park. With temperatures hitting tropical levels and the ice cream van fully stocked with 99 flakes, what could go wrong? Naturally the British runners were well prepared for the heat wave; they made sure to leave their sun cream at home in the cupboard and wear their shortest short shorts for the occasion. Luckily St John’s ambulance were on high alert throughout the day, armed with after sun!
Kirsty Addy reports:
The women were off at 12:20 and Sarah Johnson got TVH off to a great start with her first run back from injury. She handed over in 9th position pipping the Birchfield athlete across the line and setting us up perfectly for a top 10 finish which was the ultimate aim. Fiona Thompson took on the first short leg of the day and posted a solid time, clawing back a position so that TVH were now in 8th.
Kirsty Addy started well, but overcooked it slightly on the uphill and had to rely on gravity to bring her back down. She battled to the end and managed to keep us in contention for a top 10 finish handing over in 11th. Next up Tracey Barlow attacked the long leg in fine style posting the second fastest time of the day! In doing so she left 6 runners in her wake and moved us into 5th position.
On her debut for Thames Valley Harriers, Sarah Bellchambers had a great run on a tough course to pass over in 7th position. We had 24 seconds on 8th, and a 27 second gap to 6th which was by no means out of reach for our last leg runner Heather Timmins. She got off to a great start, eating up the ground between her and the runners in front but unfortunately suffered a calf injury at the furthest point on the course. Incredibly, Heather somehow managed to hop her way to the finish, losing only 2 places in the process! TVH are very proud of the determination and team spirit displayed out on that course, not to mention the impressive feat to hop for that period of time. We are sure Heather could make a fabulous triple jumper as well as a runner. Overall, we finished in 9th place which is an incredible achievement considering the turn of events! We met our top 10 goal and all came away with a glorious sun tan*. A great day all round.
*Tan: british slang word for burn.
Saturday 8th April 2017, Sutton Park, Birmingham
ERRA National Road Relays Women’s 6 Stage results:
Leg 1 (long) 9th Sarah Johnson 31:44
Leg 2 (short) 8th Fiona Thompson 18:20
Leg 3 (short) 11th Kirsty Addy 19:57
Leg 4 (long) 5th Tracy Barlow 30:03 (2nd fastest long leg of the day)
Leg 5 (short) 7th Sarah Bellchambers 20:02
Leg 6 (short) 9th Heather Timmins 23:53
1st Leeds City AC 2:12:44
2nd Swansea Harriers 2:16:21
3rd Winchester & District AC 2:16:35
9th Thames Valley Harriers 2:23:59
52 teams started, 46 teams finished