SEAA Road Relay Champs – Rushmoor Arena Aldershot – 21-22 Sep 2013

The club entered teams in almost all categories, and there was an excellent turn out across the female age groups. There were some pleasing performances, especially from the Under 15 girls and the Veteran men.

Amongst the junior athletes, the stand-out team result of the day came from the club’s Under 15 girls. The A team finished 24th out of 77, one of the best results for this age group in recent years. Nicola Ravenhill ran an excellent first leg, clocking 11.41 over the 3K course. This was a time that no other Ealing girl could better on the day, but her fellow team members backed her up with strong performances: Courtney Marshall took over in 27th, handing over to Laura Stewart in 29th. Laura showed her usual tactical nous, picking off several rivals in the last 800 metres of the course to bring the team home in 24th. For the B team, debutant Jasmine Loh ran an excellent first leg, handing over to Jennie Connelly in 65th. Although Jennie dropped a few places she ran well, despite having no third runner to complete the line-up.

The Under 17 women also put in one of the best performances in this age group for several years. Olivia Will ran a quick first leg, saving some extra power for the last few hundred metres in which she closed down several rivals, to hand over in 33rd position. Joanna Vale ran a solid leg, finishing strongly and handing over in 38th. Tara Kelly, running her first race, put in a strong performance bringing the team home in 37th.

The Under 15 boys were missing key athletes but still put in a good performance. Reece Farren got the four-man team off to a strong start, handing over to George Kerry. George passed 14 rival athletes, pulling the team up to 39th position by the time he handed over to Elliot Stewart. Elliot ran well against tough opposition to hand over to Luke Adar in 49th. Luke ran an excellent leg to bring the team home in 45th.

Some Under 13 girls were also missing but the A team made a fine start, thanks to a swift first leg from Lucy O’Brien. Cameron Thomas took over in 30th but had a tough fight on her hands, handing over to Anisa Ibrahim in 43rd. Anisa, running her second race for the club, performed well against more experienced opposition, bringing the team home in 47th. The club entered a B team in this race: Shiva Basu, Leah Kelly and Sarah Freegard all ran well to finish 70th.

Lucas Sheehan was the club’s only representative in the Under 13 boys, but he put in a very creditable performance to finish 31st in his leg.

Ealing’s women opted not to contest the Veteran Women’s race, instead fielding two mixed-age teams in the senior category. Both team performances were characterised by consistent performances across all four legs. Sarah Richardson, Alison Hopkins, Fiona Kennedy and Grazina Narviliene ran the 4×4 kilometre course in a total time of 1:01:12 bringing them home in 31st. The club’s A team women have not beaten the hour since 2008, but this year’s clocking was the best since then. Three of the B team comprised athletes aged over 45, so Carol Jones, Patricia Thomas, Alex Hewett and Christine Meek ran well to record a total time of 1:07:31. The B team performance was also the club’s fastest since 2008.

The club’s Veteran men finished 14th out of 42 teams in the 40+ race. Triathlete Pete Flewitt got them off to a flying start, finishing 10th in 20:46. Angelo John and Rob Brown ran solidly, both clocking 22:30 for legs two and three, while Mark Delahunty defied a back injury to complete his leg in 22:05.

The senior men’s race comprised 6 legs of the 6 kilometre course, and the club fielded two teams. Only the top 25 teams are eligible to compete in the National Road relays, and the A team set out with high hopes of achieving this. Rob Wilson’s opening leg of 19:09 turned out to be the team’s fastest leg, but there was some very fast competition. This included former ESM athlete Nick Goolab, who was on pace for a course record at one stage. Sam Ashcroft took over from Rob in 33rd and only lost one place, despite having a slightly below par run. However, track runners Nicholas Landeau found the distance unexpectedly testing, as did Sam Shindler-Glass in his first senior race, and the team continued to lose places. By the time team captain Chris Hepworth took over in 42nd and finished in 43rd, there seemed no realistic hope of qualifying for the Nationals. Undeterred, Jamie Taylor-Caldwell put in a storming last leg, his time of 19:34 being the 12th fastest in his leg. Despite this, the team could only finish 28th of the A teams, but they had the consolation of beating both their local rivals Thames Valley Harriers and Hillingdon AC.

The B team finished 70th out of 80 complete teams, which was a satisfactory performance, given that it included 17 year old Zephon Allen, as well as two veterans who had already raced earlier in the day. Zephon’s time of 20:48 compared well with some of the A team performances, while Pete Flewitt’s second outing of the day was less than a minute slower than his first.

Full results here