Dylan fastest at Midland Road Relays!

There were some great team performances and a few individual standout performances from the Midland Counties Road relays held at the traditional home of both the Midland & National RR, Sutton Park, on a glorious and unseasonably warm autumnal day.

The undoubted performance of the day was 12 year old Dylan Bowley who continued straight off from his record breaking season on track with a superb opening leg in the U13 Boys race where he destroyed a very strong field to win by over 20 seconds to bring the Harriers team home with a great lead. Dylan set off at pace and tried to open up a gap on the tricky hill at the start and then pushed on at pace on the flatter/ downhill section opening up and extending the gap all the time, he even had to pass the slightly cautious lead motorcycle to maintain his lead! His time of 13:43 was the quickest of the day and earned Dylan a Gold Medal for setting the fastest time and a very well received £50 Brooks voucher, courtesy of the event sponsors. Dylan was delighted with his opening run of the season and this sets the bar very high indeed for the in-form youngster for the National Road relays in 2 weeks’ time, and the forthcoming Cross Country season.

The U13 boys’ team dropped off the pace a little with the remaining legs, particularly with the missing Ollie Read through injury but Ethan Nellis ran a solid leg 16:37, and Cole Sinnot also stepped in to run the final leg in a respectable 16:54 to bring the team home in 12th place overall. From the 26 complete teams

In the U15 Boys race the second outstanding performance of the day was produced from the fast improving Fynn Batkin who surprised most of the squad and his coach with a blistering opening leg finishing second overall with 13:11, and considering this is Fynn’s first race over the 3.8km course it was a remarkable debut, and the time was enough to secure him the 5th fastest time of the day overall. Fynn handed over to Josh Cannell, who is also improving rapidly and Josh ran a terrific leg to improve his PB over the course by 1:40 to bring the incomplete team home in 11th place after 2 legs. Transport issues prevented the third leg runner from competing.

There were two full U13 Girls teams most experiencing the slightly longer course of 3.8km for the first time and the A & B squads had a real battle throughout the race with each of the teams changing positions on numerous occasions! In the opening leg, Skye-Lilly Kay for the B team was first Harrier home setting a very respectable (and fastest of the U13 girls squads) 17:02 to bring the team home in 22nd with the A team’s Daisy Robinson struggling with a back strain bringing the A team home in 31st with 17:43. In the second legs the team positions changed hand with a superb individual run from Mia Brockway (17:16 & second fastest in the squad) in the A tem to bring them home in 22nd position making up an incredible 9 places. Natalie short struggled a little with the longer distance but produced a fine sprint finish to bring the B team home in 24th with a respectable 18:13. The final leg saw the team positions change yet again, with a spirited run from Freya Batkin who also ran a super leg of 17:23 to make 5 places (Including club colleague Blainne Conway) and bring the team home in a fine 19th place from the 35 complete teams competing. The B team finished in 25th place overall with a respectable final leg of 18:42 for Blainne Conway, with the A team finishing ahead of local rivals Corby AC. If the A team had featured the three fastest Harriers on the day they would have finished in 14th place, so the teams will be amended for the upcoming Nation Road Relays in 2 weeks’ time based on the individual times.

In the U15 Girls race Emily Williams ran a respectable Autumn/ Winter opener with an opening leg of 15:27 which was good enough for 10th place, this was a little way of her 2014 times and shows there is plenty to come from the 13 year old once she get back to full fitness following her 2 week break. Danni McCann-Gaskill ran well in her first run at the Road Relays with 16:18 to bring the team home in 12th place, and fellow debutant Harriet Jolley also ran well in her first event over 800m, with a very respectable 18:04 to bring the team home in 18th place from the 32 complete teams entered.

The buoyant U17 Women’s age group managed to field two complete teams and a third incomplete team (due to sickness) and they also enjoyed some inter-squad rivalry throughout the competition. In the opening leg Claudia Nevett produced a fine run, (and the quickest from the squad) to bring the A team home in 11th place with 15:15, a little way off her 2014 PB, but the 16 year old is still working her way back to full fitness so there will be more to come in 2 weeks’ time. The B squad was brought home in a fine 18th place from Sophie Moss with 16:07, a 42 second improvement from her 2014 time and the second fastest time in the squad on the day, and the opening leg for the incomplete C team was from Rebecca Hughes with 18:57. The second leg saw the gaps reduce with a terrific run from Elana Albery with a solid 16:13 making 2 places and bringing the B squad home in 16th place. Elana, whose debut track season never really got going, shows she will clearly have more to give over the longer distances with the third fastest squad time on the day. Ella Palmer almost held her position in the A squad with a battling run of 16:51 to bring them home in 12th place. On the third and final leg’s Amy Robinson produced a good run to take 2 placed for the A squad and bring the team home in a respectable 10th place, the highest team position of the day, with 17:04 a PB over the course. The B squad with a solid run from Chloe Hearne in 17:36 finished in a fine 12th place, and both A&B teams were ahead of local rivals Corby AC & Harborough AC showing the strength in depth we have in this AG. The teams will be rearranges to include the 3 fastest of the squad for the National RR, and if the 3 fasted had been in the same team at the Midland relays they would have finished in 5th place!

The final race of the day with Harrier interest was the youthful looking (last leg aside!) 6 way 5.8km senior men’s team comprising in the main of 4 of the U20 squad, and an U23. U20 Jack Hope was the lead leg and ran a terrific opening leg to bring the Harriers home in 36th place with the fastest leg of the squad in 20:16, U20 Jed Hayes who has to step in for Josh Cara who was delayed in traffic in the 2nd leg ran a solid race to complete the course in 21:53, bringing the team home in 41st place, U20 Josh managed to get ready in time for the third leg and ran a terrific leg to make up 7 places with the second fastest squad clocking of 20:43 handing over to U20 Matt Brookes who ran a solid leg of 23:36 to bring the squad home in 43rd place. The final legs were ran by U23 Dan Thompson who al but maintained the team position with 23:35 (44th) and 2nd reserve, coach & vet50 Shane Smith, who ran a respectable leg of 25:35 to bring the team home in a final position of 52nd from the 84 full teams.

A very good day’s racing overall and some very encouraging performances, with most Young Athlete age groups racing at the National Road Relays on 04th October it will be good to see how the revamped teams perform after familiarisation of the course for many of the first timers, and 2 weeks extra training for all?

Well Done to all who competed.

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Superb Run for U13 Dylan Bowley fastest boy of the day by 14 seconds

& securing a Gold Medal and £50 of Brooks Vouchers!