By Richard Gray
A great day at work. We finished an excellent 8th.
I incorrectly stated that this was down on previous, but in fact it is our fastest time on the new course (2015) and equalled 8th place from 2015, beating last year. Overall our second highest Midland 12 stage position. I also incorrectly stated the short leg distance which is 3.16miles. Must be the stress(or incompetence).
The late flurry of injury and illness meant new boys and B team had to breach the gap, which was accomplished admirably, so well done everyone and thanks for all the last minute multiple swaps.
See information about The National on 8 April at the end….the No1 road race.
Greeted with sunshine, albeit chilly sunshine (not sure of the logic there), helped to put a cheery smile on everyone’s face, even the grumpy manager !
Dan Robinson back on pole, smashed his leg with a course pb putting us in 11th on the traditionally fast first lap. Steve Dunsby followed on in his long stage debut guaranteeing a pb and creeping up to 10th. Handing on to Mark Ince who smashed another course pb, pushing close to Dan’s time and shooting us up to 7th, happy times. Chris Ashford, on his way back to form, did not show any lack of it as he was only 12 seconds off a pb, and still 7th. So that is 3 out of 4 personal bests on the long leg, crucial in the overall result.
First of the shorts was Nathan Warren, in what is always a tough and quick leg and we slipped just two places. Adam Balderson-Higgins stepped in last minute from B first leg and under pressure did what was required, but we slipped to 11th. Kevin McMillan despite suffering with a cold and describing his leg as "slow" held on to 11th. New boy Colin Bailey was not entirely happy about a debut in the A team, but acquitted himself well and kept 11th. Simon Lanckham debuted on a short for this course and delivered our fastest short as expected, snatching back two places including our close battle with Stoke. Rene Vergo ran a very good leg but we came under pressure from Stoke and Bristol B, and dropped back to 11th. Was the writing on the wall ?
Martin “he will sort it” Matthews answered that question, promptly overtaking Heanor, Stoke and Bristol B, no problem. We were now in 8th as Chris “what pressure” Grimley took on the task of last leg. Heanor were dumped, Bristol slipped back, but Stoke slowly gained. I encouraged Chris with 1000m to go: “you have a 20m gap, go” (don’t you just hate that, but necessary ?). Chris did a great job holding on until 200m from the finish when we were caught. Brave run but 9th it was to be, or was it ?
Kenilworth, our close rivals in relays and XC had mucked up big time and were disqualified, hoorah ! Tough, they probably need a better manager. Shame though, we now won’t be able to beat them in The National like last year and the XC this year.
Our B team had as many changes as New Street Station (or should that be Grand Central).
Martin Cleaver stepped up last minute(just assume everything is last minute), running a great leg smashing his pb. Harry “H” Fowler who was probably not relishing 2nd leg, but did not shirk under the pressure did exactly what it said on the tin(what am I on about ?). Handing onto Robert Dowse who was probably the only no change leg, he ran 2nd fastest long and retrieved two places. Jort Van Mourik on the long road back snatched another couple of places. Why break a habit, Abayomi Adedimeji ran the fastest short, justifying an A team place on the day now he knows his injury will hold up, and yes gaining another two places up to 53rd. Everyone’s favourite except mine, XC manager Martin Ludford consolidated our position. Richard Carney dared to drop one place but I forgive him. Mark Iliffe was on hand, and showing off gained five places into 49th. Really really last minute(“I will just go and get my kit and drop the dog off”) Ming Nham pushed hard, but nine legs were all we had to offer, and so all our efforts ended up with a “We came , we saw, we DNF’d. very well done and thanks to all in the B.
To summarise. A job well done and very good result. Shame is, in what is a high standard Championship we could only turn out 21 athletes. It may be a top race, but all standards can race without fear. I should be fighting people off, not trying to complete a B team. Well done all who ran and supported.
See below results for National Relays info which is Britain’s top road race open to all clubs.
1 Bristol & West Ac (Est. 1882) ‘A’ 3:54:50
2 Notts AC ‘A’ 3:56:24
3 Cheltenham & County Harriers ‘A’ 3:59:27
8 Birmingham Running A&t ‘A’ 4:20:51 Long leg 5.38miles, short legs 3.16miles.
1 Daniel Robinson (11) 28:24
2 Steve Dunsby (10) 29:45
3 Mark Ince (7) 28:40
4 Chris Ashford (7) 29:27
5 Nathan Warren (9) 18:10
6 Adam Balderson Higgins (11) 19:04
7 Kevin Mcmillan (11) 18:03
8 Colin Bailey (11) 18:29
9 Simon Lanckham (9) 17:08
10 Rene Vergo (11) 17:55
11 Martin Matthews (8) 17:31
12 Chris Grimley (9) 18:15
Birmingham Running A&t ‘B’
1 Martin Cleaver (53) 33:52
2 Harry Fowler (59) 38:00
3 Robert Dowse (57) 34:37
4 Jort Van Mourik (55) 36:23
5 Abayomi Adedimeji (53) 18:09
6 Martin Ludford (53) 21:18
7 Richard Carney (54) 24:13
8 Mike Iliffe (HJ) (49) 19:25
9 Ming Nham (OD) (49) 21:00
Fastest of all long legs — Provisional 1 Graham Rush Cheltenham A 26:04 2 Stephen Mitchell Bristol&We A 26:21 3 Richard Peters Bristol&We A 26:24
Fastest of all short legs — Provisional 1 Owain Jones Bristol&We A 15:32 2 Jack Hallas Birchfield A 15:34 3 Jonathan Goringe Birchfield A 15:35
National Road Relay Championship, Sat 8 April, same place.
We have qualified one team. The squad will be the A team and Abayomi, + a few who would have made the Midland A team and had wished to run if they were available. Let me know now if you could not make the Midland, but want to be considered. Come along and support us.
I will send out individual emails.
Richard. 07973 502531.