On 21 May 2015 In Running News

National Masters Relays - Team Manager's Report

What a great day of athletics. We were there for two medals, secured one and were close to a second. The first National Masters Road Relay medal in our history. We had realistic aims and everyone was fired up to beat their targets. The result was great performances and great races. I am proud of everyone, thank you team mates. Thank you to our supporters, but we could have done with a few more!

Four short race reports below!  Full results at www.joelee.co.uk

M35 Race.

The youngsters were our team medal hope, and if the emails bouncing back and forward were to be believed then silverware was a certainty. Our tactic was to start and finish strongly, keeping things consistent throughout the race, while other teams front loaded and dropped off at the end.

On form Mark Ince led off with a target time and position of 7th  to attain. Well he delivered 7th, but easily beat my target; and so……race on.

Kevin was given a tough task by me, having to follow a great opening position on the ever fast second leg, but although predictably dropping a few places, we were still ahead of schedule. Super Vet Jon Jennings is on form, he followed the plan pulling back four places. Dan Robinson looked at his target with disdain. I thought too many races, London Marathon legs….?  He smashed it, taking the fastest leg away from Mark by a massive one second and shooting us into fourth. Oh yes, I love a plan coming together, feels like method not luck. Surely only 34 seconds to our perceived destiny would be easily attainable as the others dropped back?

Mark Lawlor gave his best, easily beating my target, but what were the other three teams around us playing at, their expected slow fifth leg did not materialise!

Martin Matthews, very fresh from his brilliant London Marathon dismissed the so called “marathon legs” tag, but ended up with a solitary race against the clock. His determined run was impressive, and the team beat the manager's total target by 18 seconds which would have given us bronze last year. So much for stats. Our competitiveness was obvious in attitude and performance, and we finished in 5th in Britain, our highest ever finish. Well done team.

We will add strength to the squad next year and the following year. If we are prepared to put more emphasis on this race and 5K training, then we will win silverware.

M35-44 A team. 3mile legs x 6  Time 1.37.13, 5th

Mark Ince                15.27

Kevin McMillan       16.53

Jon Jennings            16.20

Dan Robinson         15.36

Mark Lawlor            16.42

Martin Matthews.  16.05

M35 B team.  

Toby Close led off on the fastest and very busy first leg with another 92 athletes.  A good solid run as I expected. This always gives a good B team the opportunity to chase. New boy Stuart Male, a more than welcome asset from Tipton had a real stunner gaining 16 places.  Ed Barlow followed Stuart’s trend gaining a further twelve places and pinching fastest leg from Stuart by 3 seconds. Rene Vergo on his way back from injury showed his quick improvement getting closer to form and taking another 4 places. Derek Hardy had expressed his hope that his endeavours were not required, but they were and I think it was a good time mate. Harry “the kit” Fowler was back, and what a brilliant come back time on another solitary leg, with only the tumbleweed and me to offer support.  Well done team.

M35-44(or any age) B team. 3 mile legs x 6   Time 1.56.43.  37th.

Toby Close       18.05

Stuart Male     17.24

Ed Barlow        17.21

Rene Vergo      17.37

Derek Hardy    25.29

Harry Fowler   20.47

M45 team

Huw Jones in his own words “was raring to go”, and go he promptly did with a stunning time of 17.20 and 13th place. Good to have Andy Kenchington back racing with a good solid time as ever. Jort always keen to beat everybody, but this time fresh from surgery to replace both legs and feet, ran remarkably quickly. Finally, now officially old at was 50 Rob Ryan, who has also been under medical scrutiny, produced another very quick time, holding onto 28th place.

Well done team.

M45-54  team. 3 mile legs x 4   Time 1.15.50.  28th.

Huw Jones                 17.20

Andy Kenchington    18.14

Jort van Mourik        20.28

Rob Ryan                  19.48

M55 team.

And so to the elder statesmen, the true masters of something, if only I could remember. So elderly in fact, they make us race earlier so the debris of trikes and Zimmers, can be cleared, and those lost who forgot to turn at the cone, could be retieved.

This was our second medal hope of the day, but this time an individual. As the tem manager I nabbed first leg with no thought of any democratic decision.

It all went off a bit quick up the hill, but trusting in my tactics, they nearly all eventually dropped back as I moved through with Mike Hager. Unfortunately I was unable to prevent a small gap opening, and despite closing fast at the finish, left me trailing by 6 secs in second. Andy Sargent bore the brunt of the quicker teams' 2nd leg onslaught, but did well and we were still up in 13th. Finally Martin Ludford, and despite a bit of illness, his carers had given him the green light and his medication obviously helped him have a stormer moving us into 10th slot.

So a Silver medal for me and the club’s first Masters National medal.  Well done team.

M55-64  team.  3 mile legs x 3.   Time  55.58.  10th.

Richard Gray       17.09

Andy Sargent      20.06

Martin Ludford   18.45

Richard Gray

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