Reading AC’s ladies joined the men’s team at Milton Keynes for the SEAA Road Relay Championships on Sunday 24 March. The ladies’ race is a 6-stage relay, comprising four ‘short’ stages of 5.05 km (stages 1, 3, 5 and 6), and two long stages of 7.66 km (stages 2 and 4). Each stage started and finished on the athletics track, taking a surprisingly undulating route via tarmac paths around the edge of woods and housing estates.
Conditions were good for racing; dry and sunny with a light breeze. The team was ably led off on the first short stage by Hayleigh Wood, who paced herself well to clock 21:01, handing over in 24th place to Sophie Crumly for stage 2. Sophie put in a very solid performance on this long stage, recording a time of 29:16 and gaining 3 places to hand over in 21st place to Sue Francis for stage 3. Sue had three runners to chase, and had a pleasing run, gaining two places and clocking 20:48 as she handed over in 19th place to Sarah Urwin-Mann for stage 4. Sarah gave a strong and determined effort on this long stage, recording 30:57 as she passed over in 20th place to Lucy Daniells for the penultimate short stage. Lucy had one of her best runs of the winter season, chasing hard and putting in her trademark sprint finish to clock 21:22 and maintain the team’s 20th position. Claire Mills, taking part in this event for the first time, had the honour of running the final stage. Working hard and holding her form well on this short stage, Claire recorded 22:52 and kept the team in 20th place as she crossed the finish line in a total team time of 2:26:16, a very pleasing team effort. Women’s Report by Sue Francis
Reading AC Senior and Junior Men made a welcome return, after an absence of ten years, to take part in the South of England 12 stage Road Relay Champs at Milton Keynes. The race is run over 12 stages alternating between long and short stages.
Running the first leg for us was Rory Domville who got the team off to a good start finishing 18th (24.27). This is always a hotly contested leg as a lot of teams put their best runners on first. On the second leg Ryan Faulkner, who came in to the team on Friday morning to make sure we finished a team, was 23rd in 17.01. Junior Alex Sutton was on the 3rd leg and once again was up against some good runners when finishing 24th (25.29). Mark Booth then moved the team up to 20th on the 4th leg in 16.10. Jonny Davies who has been out injured and was having his first race since October last year moved the team up 6 more places to 14th (24.02). Junior Matt Rawlings was on the 6th leg and improved the teams position to 13th with our fastest short stage (16.06). Our next Junior was Isaac Farnworth who continued improving the teams position to 11th (25.12). Peter Cook another Junior in the team moved the team up to 9th on the 8th leg (16.09). Ed Stockdale ran the Reading Half the week so was not at his best on the 9th leg finishing 13th (26.24). Our final Junior in the team Mikey Lennon who held on to that position on the 10th leg (17.26). Running the 11th leg was Rob Tan who also ran in the Reading Half the week before so was not quite at his best but still managed to hold on only dropping one place (27.26). On the 12th and final leg Arturo Martinez De Murguia had a good run to bring the team home in 14th (17.25).
The performance of the team was excellent and gave us selection to the National Road Relays at Sutton Park on 6th April. Men’s Report by Ray Stevens
Photos by Malcolm Francis