Conditions once again felt warm and humid for this year’s Middlesex Road Relays at Minet Park. There have only been senior races since 2016, and turnout remains relatively low, but you can only beat those who compete, and our men’s and women’s A teams did just that.
Jamie Taylor-Caldwell led off for the men, achieving the overall fastest time of the day. George Kerry took over, and he managed to run the third quickest senior men’s time. With Chris Hepworth only two seconds slower than George, the team closed 40 seconds ahead of second-placed Queens Park. For good measure, the B team of Akira Anzai-Jackson, Jonathan Horan (who had already helped the club to victory at the River Relay that morning) and Luke Nicholas took third spot. We even had a third team: Mukhtar Farah, Rob Brown and Jav Sondh – another who had already raced that morning.
Not to be outdone, the club’s senior women won by over two-and-a-half minutes from Queens Park. Despite significant injury time this year, Jessica Leane ran a storming first leg to bring the team home several hundred metres clear of the next woman… (which just happened to be her mum Breege, but more of that later). Backed up by Angel Grimes McTavish and Nicola Ravenhill – who ran the second fastest leg – the team of under 20s did the club proud.
Our veteran women also put in a fine performance, being the first B team to close. The fast-improving W55 Breege Leane ran the fourth fastest leg, initially working off Zoe Dobbs of Hillingdon. “I was also helped by the fact that Jav Sondh had done the river relays a few hours earlier so I was able stay competitive with him”. Breege did ask for all those who raced two relays on Sunday to be “named and famed”, and this included club stalwart Pat Thomas, who kept up the pressure on leg two, while the indestructible Carol Jones was only slightly adrift of third spot:
“I was closing down Lotte [Visser] from Hillingdon and then she looked behind with about 300 metres to go, saw me and picked up the pace cheered on by her Hillingdon team mates – wasn’t any chance of me catching her after that. Was probably the oldest runner in the field and grateful I wasn’t the last runner in!”
The juniors all ran well in their first distance event of the autumn/winter season. Kara Larkham finished third in the U11 girls’ race and Finlay Vadon was fourth in the corresponding boys’ race.
Mia de Vivenot, still only 11, turned in a good time in the U13 girls’ race, supported by Sonia Ouzhene and Olivia Grigg. Alec Edgar, Edward Cooper and Alistair Larkham made for an evenly matched U13 boys’ team.
We had eight athletes in the U15 boys’ race, the A team finishing fourth thanks to the efforts of Seweryn Czapka, Finn Combe and Vitaly Bender. Seweryn clocked the fifth fastest time in that category. Anna Ilchenko was our only representative in the U15 girls’ race.
Anisa Ibrahim, Lucy O’Brien and Amira Nuseibah finished third in the U17 women’s race. Chauncey Edwards, Mo Ali and Elias Ahmed finished second in the men’s race, with Mo and Elias clocking the two fastest legs.