It was a blustery September day when the ESM seniors arrived to take on the Middlesex Road Relays, writes Shona Cowper. The theme of the event appeared to be ‘How close to the start time can I arrive?’ as the team began to ask “Where’s Jav?” and “Where’s Santosh?” and Fiona proclaimed “I just don’t understand why people don’t arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of a race!” Duly noted, Fiona. It turns out that Jav had been asleep only 20 minutes before he arrived, while Santosh had been watching a film (!?) and turned up with literally a few minutes to go until he had to run.
The concept of the relay is teams of three, each of whom runs twice around Minet cycle track (~3km per person). A superb turnout of 13 ESM runners made us the most numerous club at the event with five teams – well done us!
In case you’re questioning the maths, 13 runners became 15 when Bruce Li – pictured on the right of the photo with Andy – became an honorary member for the occasion, and Mark Kencroft ran leg one of the B team AND leg three of the E team. That’s him completing his second effort.
However, with only one female runner from ESM, there’s clearly a need for a bit more proactivity among the ladies when it comes to these inter club events. There were only two complete women’s teams in the whole event so it looks like other clubs have a similar challenge, which is a shame.
[Editor’s note: low attendance at the senior relays was partly due to very late confirmation that they were going ahead this year. The organisers had been otherwise engaged in August, helping at the somewhat more high profile World Athletics Championships in Stratford!]
With Hillingdon fielding Abdi Abdulle, Mohamed Mohamed and Mohamed Daud Mohamed, the other teams were contending second place at best, and Manish’s swift opening leg put us there – fourth fastest leg of the day after the Hillingdon trio! Nick Steel held it on leg two, and it was still ours until the closing moments, when Santosh was passed by TVH. Well, he had already completed a 13-mile training run that morning, as had Andy and Bruce…
The running conditions were slightly challenging with a tough old headwind from the far corner of the cycle track back to the corner before the start/finish line. However, there was plenty of team support and camaraderie, including Claire and Debbie who turned up with ESM flags, along with Alison T and an injured Patricia. Thanks, ladies! And thank you to John and Fiona for their continued support at such events, who come along even when they’re not racing, and Phil for organising everyone into their teams. Finally, well done everyone on a sterling turnout for ESM – we can continue to hold our heads high among the Middlesex running clubs!
You can find more photos on our Facebook page
ESM results summary
A team: 3 (Manish Kunwar 9:49, Nick Steel 10:14, Santosh Rai 10:33) 30:36
B team: 6 (Mark Kencroft 10:35, Rob Brown 11:23, Nick di Paolo 10:35) 32:33
C team: 8 (Sean Hill 12:13, Malcolm Woolsey 11:44, Phil York 11:49) 35:46
D team: 9 (Andy Leung 13:03, Bruce Li 12:03, Shona Cowper 11:42) 36:48
E team: 10 (Simon Turrell 13:35, Jav Sondh 12:23, Mark Kencroft 12:04) 38:02
Full results are available on runbritain. Note this event was held in conjunction with the Herts Road Relays.