This year’s South of England 6 and 12 Stage Road Relay Championships saw the Valley men and women in action on a new course at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Sunday 2nd April 2023.
Despite a cold and windy start to the men’s race, things soon heated up as the women’s race got underway, with a brilliant performance by the Valley women to win the race, and the Valley men in 23rd place earned hard fought qualification for a place in the National Road Relay Champs.
TVH’s senior women stormed to a convincing victory, the first time in TVH’s history that this has been achieved by the ladies team. Consisting of a mixture of four legs of 4.8km and two longer legs of 7.2km, they dominated from the gun. The winning team were also backed up by a strong B and part C team.
On a dry yet blustery day at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the team were led off by hockey turned running star Yvie Lock. With a smile on her face, Yvie powered round in an absolutely outstanding time of 15.54 over the twisty 4.8km course – clocking the overall fastest short leg of the day! Yvie may have run even faster had she worn her speedy shoes which she accidentally left at home! Congratulations Yvie!
Next to go was Kate Olding, who is having the season of her life with a recent low 34 min 10k time to boast. Kate ran an impressive 25.14 for the 7.2km long leg, holding the lead comfortably ahead of rivals Herne Hill Harriers, Aldershot Farnham and District and Belgrave Harriers.
Leg 3 was covered by 800m/400m specialist Charlotte Buckley, who ran strongly to hold the lead in a great time of 17.12 over 4.8km.
GB marathon runner Tracy Barlow, in fine form and making it look easy, worked round the fourth ‘long’ leg of 7.2km in a superb time of 24.43, just a few seconds away from the overall quickest long leg of the day.
Now, at least 2 minutes in the lead, Emily Carroll took over. Emily ran to form, edging further ahead of the competitors in a brilliant time of 17.01, handing over to club stalwart Alex Mundell.
Alex, not long off a flight from New Zealand and as enthusiastic as ever, held the lead for the team, as we all knew she would! Alex ran a fabulous leg in a time of 17.05, also with a smile on her face! Pictured above from left – Alex, Tracy, Yvie, Emily, Kate and Charlotte.
Meanwhile, the B and C teams (Izzy Franco, Chloe Baker, Sualia Sa, Lisa da Silva, Jess Dring-Morris, Lydia Blythe and Nadia Whittaker) also produced some strong runs. The quickest short leg of the B team went to Izzy Franco in a fantastic time of 17.20 and the quickest long leg went to Chloe Baker in a time of 26.39 – both worthy performances for an A team spot (had the team not been so strong already!).
Congratulations to the ladies for such an amazing and historic achievement! They will next be in action on the 15th April at the National Road Relays where all eyes will be firmly set on the medals.
Up The Valley! Lisa da Silva, a very proud team manager!
The men’s race consisted of 12 man teams, made up of alternative long and short legs (7.2km and 4.8km). The course around the walkways of the park was for the most part flat and fast, with a small uphill section on the far part of each lap.
Leading off for the men’s team on the first leg, a long leg, was Myles Edwards, who having made the long trip down from Scotland wasted no time in giving the men’s team a great start in 15th place in a quick time of 22m10s. Ryan Keane took over on the first short leg and posted the fastest Valley short leg time of the day with a swift 15m46s.
Michael Cameron followed this up with the fastest Valley long leg time of the day, 22m05s, to move the Valley men up to 14th place in the race. On leg 4 Sebastien Maillard made a good road relay debut with a time of 16m55s, and Niki Faulkner was in great form on leg 5 to record a good time of 22m35s.
Michael Crone was next up on leg 6 and his short leg time of 15m52s put the Valley men in 18th place at the halfway point in the race.
Will Perkin made a big move up the field on leg 7, and his time of 22m29s brought him home in 11th place, the Valley men’s highest race position of the day.
Conall Green gave a good account on his short leg with a time of 16m17s, and despite not feeling 100%, Hugo Cayssials recorded a long leg time of 23m12s to finish in 14th place.
Valley veterans Steve Norris and James Malcolm completed the final 2 short legs for the team, while on leg 11 Rob Vallance produced a good time of time 22m43s on the final long leg of the race.
Steve’s time of 18m59s on leg 10 and James’ time of 18m55s on leg 12 brought the Valley men’s team home in a final race position of 23rd place.
An incomplete Valley men’s B team was also racing at the London Olympic Park, with Simon Nixon, Geoff Williamson, Thomas Horrex and Lawrence Tse all doing well on the new course.
All the race results can be found online at :
With only the top 25 men’s teams qualifying for the National 12 Stage Road Relay, a 23rd place finish ensured that all the Valley men’s hard work paid off and they will going to Sutton Park, Birmingham, to race in the National Road Relay on Saturday April 15th , well done to everyone on the team.
Up The Valley! Phil Wetton, Men’s Team Manager