Midland Counties Road Relays

 There was a slight mixed bag for Harriers at the traditional start of the winter programme, the Midland Counties Road Relays, held in the traditional setting of Sutton park and a warm overcast and somewhat breezy autumn morning. With all Junior AG running over the same 3.86km course it was a chance for the Harriers MD squad to stretch their legs and get used to the longer race distances after the track season.

The result of the day was a super 11th place for the U17M team with bottom year Fynn Batkin getting the trio off to a superb start with a near 30 second PB and 8th fastest time of the day to bring the team home in 5th place on the opening leg with 12:36. Handing over to Jake Trent, who also ran a terrific leg losing only 1 place and also setting a course PB of 18 seconds with 13:29, with the final leg from Josh Cannell, who set a significant PB of 40 seconds, seeing the Harriers finish in a very respectable position.

U17 bottom year Fynn Batkin highest individual placing with the 8th fastest time in his AG 

The U13B team all making their Road Relay debuts saw them finish in a credible 18th place saw first leg runner Ollie Read setting the fastest time of the trio with a fine 15:27 in 12th place, Ben Brooker ran a solid 2nd leg with 17:32 to bring the team home in 23rd, and new squad recruit, Adam Jawad, brother of Thomas, who has impressed in training, justified his selection with a fine 17:06 taking 5 places to bring the team home in a respectable 18th position.

The U13G almost matched the boys team with a credible 19th place overall, with Freya Batkin & Mia Brockway both setting PB’s, and the U15G race didn’t go to plan with 1st leg Daisy Robinson sadly having to retire due to shortness of breath, which saw 2nd leg Emily Williams waiting to be released effectively running a time trial. With an unofficial time of 15:00 suggesting this was a comfortable run out for her, after only two sessions back in training following her summer break. A decent run from third leg, Natalie Short, was also not officially recorded along with Emily’s time due to the retirement.

The two U17W’s teams performances suggest greater things to come during the year with the A team running well with Bethan Lewis making her road relay debut running a great opening leg, the fastest of the U17’s, to bring the team home in 18th place with 15:59, Sophie Moss ran a great 2nd leg to make 4 places with 16:18, handing over to Poppy Carmichael, who was making her KTH debut, and showing plenty of promise with a fine 3rd leg which saw her catching a small group of athletes placed 11th to 14th, only for her having to retire with 600m to go with a persistent injury. The decision to move her to third leg in case the injury occurred was justified but she can take heart that her training and improvements since joining the Harriers show great potential for the coming season.

The B team also ran well with Harriet Jolley running a solid opening leg of 17:24 to bring the team home in 25th place, with Amy Robinson (17:48) maintaining this position, and third leg athlete Danni McCann-Gaskell taking 5 places with the fastest split of 17:13 to bring the tem home in a respectable 20th place.

The Senior women’s team competing over 4.33km, consisting of a youthful U20 KTH quartet, saw them finish in a highly respectable 26th out of 95 clubs. Claudia Nevett got them off to a fine start with a superb opening leg, and the fastest leg of the quartet with 17:04 to bring the team home in 21st place. Making her KTH debut, Lily Carmichael showed that she is enjoying her new training environment and returning to terrific form with a super leg, which saw her claw back 4 places with a great 17:40 to hand over to Ella Palmer in 17th position. Ella who much enjoys shorter distances ran a solid leg to finish in 20:19 in 26th, and final athlete, Elana Albery ran a fine leg of 18:48 to maintain 26th place which considering they were in the main against senior women was a great performance.

The sole performer in the Senior Men’s team was Edward Cannell fresh from his 12min half marathon PB the week earlier he showed great pace over the 5.88km course with a fine run to finish in 46th place with 21:06.

All in all a decent season opener, and plenty of promise for the races later in the season, well done to all athletes who competed.