Bates leads the charge at Midland Relays

Alice Bates started her winter season in terrific style and lead the charge from the 30+ Harriers competing in the Midland Counties Road Relays. The relays held at the traditional home of Sutton Park was held in unseasonably warm weather for late September with temperatures hitting 23 degrees, which added to the challenge for the athletes.

Bates running the first leg for the U15 G team smashed her PB over the course by 30 seconds to comfortably win her race by 12 seconds with a brilliant performance. Making a cautious start to avoid any of the pushing on the narrow start line, Bates decided to make a hard effort on the steep incline over the first 500m and she powered her way to the front of the pack. She continued to drive from the front and opened up a big gap on the chasing pack, finishing in a superb 14:22 over the 3.86km course which was the second quickest time of the day for the U15 AG, and only bettered by x6 of the older U17 Women’s AG.

Brilliant Opening performance for the winter season from Alice Bates

Bates handed over to bottom year U15 Alice Bennett who ran a terrific race out in front, and she was untroubled over the whole course, extending the lead to over 40 seconds and also running a fine new PB of 15:18 (joint 8th fastest of the day). Sadly there was no third placed runner for the Harriers U15G team, but the performance of the x2 girls after just a few weeks back from their summer break bodes well for the upcoming XC season.

There was also some strong performances from the U15 Boys team, with the ‘A’ team finishing in a fine 9th place overall. The opening leg was run by the fast improving Luke Cole making his debut in the competition. Cole made a good start settling in with the main leading pack and he finished in a superb 8th place in a very strong time of 13:22 which was the 9th fastest time on the day. Handing over to Ben Brooker who ran a solid leg in 15:22 although slipping to 13th place and it was left to Rio Carr who ran a strong anchor leg in 14:17 to bring the team home in 9th place. The ‘B’ team also had good performances from George Separovic 15:41, with Jake Nickerson (15:08) & Lucas Rodgers (14:27) who both made 9 place gains in their legs to bring the team home in a very respectable 19th place.

Fast Improving Luke Cole with the fastest split for the U15B team & 9th quickest of the day

There was a very close race between the U17 Men’s teams, the A team got off to a great start with Dylan Bowley who set the fastest split for the KTH contingent with 13:01 to finish his leg in 14th place, for the ‘B’ team Idayi Jumbe ran a solid leg to finish in 25th place in 13:53. Josh Clutton ran a good 2nd leg for the ‘A’ team with a solid time of 13:32 to make two places up, but Cullum Cox competing for the ‘B’ team 2nd leg ran a storming race to make 8 places in 13:18 to bring the ‘B’ team home in 17th place. It was all up for grabs on the last leg with Ryan Raulia running an individual split of 14:47 being chased down by club colleague Josh Geddes who ran a great final leg of 14:03 to make up 3 places and just pip the ‘B’ team to line in 14th place with Kettering ‘A’ team just 6 seconds behind in 15th place.

The senior men’s team also performed well to finish in a very credible 59th place out of the 100+ teams competing, Josh Cannel was the lead leg with the best split from the 6 strong team to bring the team home in 55th place in 21:15 over the 5.88km course, handing over to older sibling Edward Cannell, who ran an almost identical time of 21:16, making 7 places. Third out was Morgan Potter a late substitute who stepped up to ensure the club had a complete team and ran a fine leg of 22:21 to bring the team home in 50th place, with 4th leg being run by Jack Watson with a solid leg of 22:58 (53rd place). The final two legs were run by Rob Cole (26:30 for 61st place) with Tony James running the anchor leg in 22:24 to bring the team home in a final position of 59th.

Amelia McMurtrie run within a second of her PB after just over 1 weeks training following her break in 15:31, and there was new PB from Freya Batkin over the course in 16:16. U20 Emily Williams on her first outing from her summer break finished with 16:53 over the longer 4.33km course for 21st place, with U23 Claudia Nevett making 4 places in the second leg with 16:59.