TVH Senior Women Win

National Road Relay Champions

On Saturday, TVH Senior Women became the National 6-Stage Road Relays Champions (England and UK Championships). It’s the first time in TVH’s history that the women have achieved this. It has been on the cards for a while and it all came together perfectly!

On their way to victory the Valley women excelled as they lead the race from start to finish with 6 fantastic legs including the overall fastest long leg and 2nd fastest short leg of the race.

The Valley men gave a good performance to finish in the top 30 teams in 28th place in the men’s National 12 Stage Road Relay championships, which included 6 long legs and 6 short legs.

As the women’s race began just 20 minutes after the start of the men’s race, the wind was still blowing strongly but it did little to slow down the TVH women.

The team of six covered two long legs of 8.6km and four shorter legs of 5km around Birmingham’s Sutton Park. Conditions were not ideal with strong winds from Storm Kathleen, but the team remained full of enthusiasm and excitement throughout the day.

The TVH ladies led from the gun and maintained this all the way to the finishing tape. Yvie Lock, who has been running competitively for just over a year, took on the opening leg. She was in fine form despite recent injury producing the quickest long leg of the whole event (29.36)! Yvie stuck with the pack for the initial stages and eased away with a couple of kilometres to go.

Next up was Kate Olding who will be competing in the London Marathon in two weeks’ time. Kate absolutely flew round solo and ran the second quickest short leg of the competition (17.20), extending the lead to over a minute!

Triathlete Hana Blake took over on leg 3 (short) running strong and fast extending the lead further ahead of local rivals Highgate Harriers (18.24).

The second long leg was taken on by Emily Carroll. With GB marathon runner Sonia Samuels now chasing in 2nd for Sale Harriers, Emily dug in and kept the TVH ladies in prime position over the gruelling and exposed 8.6km route (31.28).

Fifth leg (short) was completed by Kosana Weir, a member of TVH since her junior days. Kosana having not raced since October made this a great come back race, whizzing round and maintaining the lead (18.00).

Charlotte Buckley, an 800m specialist and another TVH athlete who’s been with the club through her junior years had a 25 second lead as she took off. With internationals chasing, Charlotte kept her cool, ran a perfectly paced race and gave it absolutely everything to secure the win! There was excitement not far behind with Leeds City’s Sarah Potter overtaking Sale Harriers Lucy Armitage in the closing stages to claim 2nd place.

TVH also fielded a B team which shows the strength and depth in the club, placing 19th overall and 2nd B team! The team was made up of Sarah Short, Ella Burrfitt, Victoria Carter, Lisa da Silva, Amelia Casey and Zenia Gordon. This team featured particularly strong runs from sub 2.40 marathon runner Sarah Short on leg 1 (32.19) and Ella Burfitt on leg 2 (18.57).

It was a clear, dry, though very windy spring day for the start of the men’s race, with only parts of the course around the paths inside Sutton Park providing shelter from the strong headwind.

Out of the alternating 6 long legs of 8.6km and 6 short legs of 5km, Ollie Barbaresi made a welcome return to the team to post the fastest long leg time of 26m50s for the Valley men, and Archie Rainbow ran the fastest Valley short leg time of 16m30s on his National Road Relay debut.

Will Perkin joined the 65 men on the start line and gave the Valley men a fine start to the race on the first leg, a long leg of 8.6km, as he raced around his lap in a good time of 28m09s to come home in 33rd place.

Rob Vallance took over for leg 2, a short leg of 5km, and while not yet back to full fitness recorded a time of 18m01s that saw him finish in 43rd place in the race.

On leg 3 Jake Hooley came back into the team after missing the Southern Road Relaychampionships with a minor injury, and his long leg time of 30m16s put the Valley men in 45th place.

Archie Rainbow made an impressive National Road Relay debut with a fast short leg on leg 4 to move up 7 places into 38th place with a good time of 16m30s.

Next up on leg 5 Niki Faulkner further improved the Valley men’s position as he moved up another 3 places into 35th place with a good long leg time of 28m11s.

On leg 6 junior athlete Morris Rock was the youngest member of the Valley team on the day, and his short leg time of 18m53s maintained the Valley men in 35th place at the halfway point of the race.

Ollie Barbaresi was only recently back from injury, but wasted no time as he enjoyed a very fast long leg of 26m50s to move up 4 places into 31st by the end of leg 7.

Having already cheered on the Valley women to victory, Manuel Da Silva ran his own victory lap around Sutton Park on leg 8 in a time of 19m24s to finish in 32nd place.

Michael Cameron made a welcome return to the team on leg 9, and despite suffering from a stitch towards the end of his long leg he still posted a good time of 27m39s and moved up 2 places into 30th place.

Minor injuries for U20 athlete Nelson Gordon had caused him some recent setbacks in training, and his short leg time of 18m54s kept the Valley men in 30th place on leg 10.

Alex Rowe joined the team on leg 11 for his National Road Relay debut and impressed with a time of 28m24s, despite the good time large gaps ahead of him meant that he maintained the same position in 30th place.

Chris Turner stepped up for the final leg 12, and was joined by a number of athletes in a mass start, whereby all the remaining leg 12 runners start together, and he enjoyed a good short leg time of 17m35s which gained 2 places to bring the Valley men home in 28th place.

A full copy of the women’s race results can be found online at https://www.race-results.co.uk/results/2024/nat6w24.htm

A full copy of the men’s race results can be found online at https://www.race-results.co.uk/results/2024/nat1224.htm

It was a fantastic day to remember for TVH and everyone is already looking forward to the women’s 4-stage road relay and men’s 6-stage road relay in October!

Congratulations to all those racing at Sutton Park on a historic day for the Valley women!

Up The Valley!