On 30 September 2017 In Running News

Midlands Mens 6 Stage Road Relays - Manager Report

By Richard Gray

Hello BRAT mates.

Well what an eventful day, where to start?

10th place A team.

On a pleasant day in Sutton Park, we all turned up with four teams to race The Midland 6 Stage Road Relay Champs. It was going to be challenging as we no longer have our top two athletes, Jack Gray and Ed Banks, although Dan Robinson was not about to accept that description !

All junior age groups, senior and masters men and women’s races were being held, so quite a few people, with the senior men’s race alone having over 100 teams and 600 athletes.  Near to the start the road became gridlocked with nobody being let into the park for a while. Now then, our A team first leg was Dan, who after a long journey was stuck in the traffic, he just sat there and sat there. With 15 minutes to the start I received the call on the BRAT phone. (I would like to point out I am not BRAT Man nor Robin. Robin wasn’t there).  Quick as a flash I thought, thank goodness BRAT club offers a valet parking service. As I flew down to meet our beleaguered No1 (actually I ran), we swapped places and Dan ran off shouting “bring the dog”.

I eventually grasped what he had said, looked round expecting a hound from hell, but no just a surprised puppy. Thank goodness BRAT now also offer a dog walking service !

Off we went, never in a straight line, and then I discovered what those small black plastic bags are for. Oh shit I thought, quite literally.

To the race.  Dan led off The A team, Mark Woodus the B, Jack Noble the C, and Nick Seagrave the D.

Brilliant run into 9th place and his course pb by Dan, keeping Ed Banks of Birchfield behind him, hoorah !  (What did I say about top two, no offence Ed).

Mark leading off the B team also had a great leg.  Dan handed onto Steve Dunsby, or so we thought. The problem was, Steve did not see him, and did not get the marshal call (or was reading a comic with headphones on, we shall never know, but next time I will appoint a helper). Consequently he was waiting for minutes, possibly hours, possibly days !

Meanwhile Mark had handed on to Kelton Aldridge and the C team were now ahead of the A team, courtesy of a Jack Noble sprint for the line.  A dilemma indeed. Quick thinking was required by our merry band of men, and like lightening the solution was discovered: swap the remaining A and B legs. Simple solution it would appear, but with 15 minutes before leg 2 arrived back, finding everyone and swapping numbers was a bit of a challenge. We BRATs are quick thinking resourceful people, well some of us some of the time, when the sun is shining in a leap year.

Success, we were back on the chase, but unfortunately Dan’s smoky time now counted for the B team. On the bright side, Kelton like Mark also had a stormer, both now counting for the A team.

Simon Lanckham was fired up trying to make up time. As a result he felt he died in the latter stages, but I think the time was good and he gained twelve places !

For the B team, Abayomi’s impressive improvement continued, running a pb and the second fastest B team time (or is that A ?). Martin Matthews was solid as ever for the lead team, not yet back on top form he still gained two places. New boy Sam Barber followed on from Abayomi, in what may have seemed like a distance too far for a middle distance athlete, but no blow-ups so well done and improvement to come. Mr consistent Chris Ashford took over from Martin in the lead team, copying him within one second, albeit one second slower (room for improvement Chris), but gaining another place up to 15th. Similarly consistent Adam Western ran well and gained places for our second team. Final leg with Mark Ince, the man to claw back the time with a 200m finish in the bag just in case. Having to skip around slower traffic from lapped teams, Mark overhauled Shrewsbury and Taunton, closing ever so quickly on Heanor, but he ran out of road. We moved up a further two places finishing in 13th and 10th A team, Mark running 2nd fastest BRAT time of the day behind Dan. Chris Grimley followed on from Adam to finish the second team, stepping into the team last minute without current fitness, but only dropping two places to bring the team home in 50th.

Consistency was the in abundance from the C team, all within less than a minute of each other. Jack Noble for the C team produced a killer sprint finish and was fastest for the C team (hope you had not saved too much !). Handing onto close rival Chris Burrows, who although losing out to Jack gained five places. Iain Squires had planned to move house today, but the love of us all was too great, and he was not far behind Chris’s time. Andy Piddington kept the closeness of team order, losing just one place before handing onto Colin Bailey, who not to be outdone beat Andy by a massive two seconds clawing one place back in the process Finally Robert Dowse thought enough was enough, quickening the pace and gaining a further two places to finish 59th.

Nick Seagrave was fastest for the D team, handing onto Nathan Smith who not to be outdone by the C team, gained six places. Chris Anthony liked the trend, quickening the pace he took another three places. Robert Rose was obviously in a rebellious mood and reversed the trend by losing a few. Finally Simon White restored order and gained five places, ending up 75th,ten places higher than where they began. Four of the five all within 31 seconds of each other. Unfortunately we were unable to fill that last leg and were incomplete. Apologies to Simon White who had turned out heroically to ensure we did complete the team.

The muck up did not cost us too dearly, losing around two minutes, but only two A team places, namely Heanor, Coventry Godiva (Shame I like to beat the big names), and Bristol B team. At the front, Cheltenham led all the way from leg two, a club that has gone from strength to strength over several years, Graham Rush also winning fastest leg of the day. You never want to have Bristol too close behind, because inevitably they will drag you in, and that is exactly what they did on the last leg to take victory. Birchfield is a team who have struggled over the last decade, failing to get athletes out, but they have made big changes in turnout and performance, finishing 3rd, also entering three and one incomplete team. Tipton lack the quality but not the depth, finishing 4th and their B team 5th.  BRAT always have one of the best turnouts, which hopefully we will see carry on into the country, along with Tipton, Halesowen and Cheltenham, the latter completing six teams !

Well done to everyone and the supporters. National team to follow. Weakened as we are due to international duty and other commitments, we will fight for every place (team please note). Congratulations to Dan Robinson and Chris Ashford who have won an England vest in the marathon.

Richard Gray.

Birmingham Running Athletics 'B' 1:59:39  (Effectively became A team)  13th place, 10th A team

1 Mark Woodus (35) 20:12

2 Kelton Aldridge (30) 20:26

3 Simon Lanckham (18) 19:39

4 Martin Matthews (16) 20:01

5 C Ashford (15) 20:02

6 Mark Ince (13) 19:19

Birmingham Running Athletics 'A' 2:11:39.  50th place.  Became B team after leg 2.

1 Daniel Robinson (9) 18:35

2 Steve Dunsby (59) 25:36  (Unknown time, as missed 1st leg runner)

3 Abayomi Adedimeji (51) 20:32

4 Samuel Barber (51) 22:42

5 Adam Western (49) 21:52

6 Chris Grimley (51) 22:22


Birmingham Running Athletics 'C' 2:14:44  58th place

1 Jack Noble (63) 21:55

2 Chris Burrows (58) 22:13

3 Ian Squires (61) 22:28

4 Andy Piddington (62) 22:54

5 Colin Bailey (61) 22:52

6 Robert Dowse (59) 22:2

Birmingham Running Athletics 'D'

1 Nick Seagrave (85) 23:23

2 Nathan Smith (79) 23:54

3 Chris Anthony (76) 23:38

4 Robert Rose (80) 25:48

5 Simon White (75) 23:43

  1. Incomplete

First three teams

1 Bristol & West Ac 'A' 1:48:33

1 Miles Chandler (11) 18:40

2 Tom Merson (3) 17:59

3 Jack Millar (2) 18:26

4 Dan Studley (2) 17:37

5 Jarlath Mckenna (2) 18:00

6 Stephen Mitchell (1) 17:51

2 Cheltenham & County Harriers 'A' 1:49:05

1 Daniel Owen (3) 18:17

2 Dave Roper (1) 18:18

3 Graham Rush (1) 17:35

4 Phil Beastall (1) 17:53

5 Ben Price (1) 18:23

6 Oliver Mott (2) 18:39

3 Birchfield Harriers 'A' 1:50:09

1 Ed Banks (10) 18:38

2 Alex Tovey (4) 18:06

3 Rory Grant (3) 18:30

4 William Richardson (3) 17:53

5 Jonathan Goringe (3) 18:40

6 Thomas Dodd (3) 18:22

Fastest of all legs

1 Graham Rush Cheltenham A 17:35

2 Dan Studley Bristol&We A 17:37

3 Thomas Mortimer Stroud&Dis 17:45

Read 396 times Last modified on Saturday, 30 September 2017 13:14