Tony Phillips Reports... (30/09/2019)

The autumn/winter road relay and cross country season began last week with the Midland 6 Stage Road Relays at Sutton Park, and the National 6  Stage Road Relay takes place at the same venue next Sunday, 6th October.  Tipton Harriers qualified for the National  6 Stage Relay at the MJidland race, and the Women also qualified for the National $ Sage event.  The Senior Men will take on the strongest teams from the Southern event- Aldershot, Farnham and District, Serpentine, Cambridge and Colersdge and Tonbridg, who filled the top four places, and the Northern teams 0f Leeds, Sale, Salford and Morpeth , the leading teams.  Tipton take on the Midland teams ahead in the Midland race- Birchfield, Bristol and Notts. So they have a tough assignment, as well as attempting to improve on last year's 16th position. With one or two  runners missing from the Midland event to be considered, it may be achieveable, with top runs. The Midland Relays were run in summer conditions with temperatures over 21C, a bit too hot for some endurance runners, and over a demanding undulating course. The Senior Men put together a good performance in fourth place, just outside the medals. Tipton's Men's Masters  team won gold medals, beating Leicester Coritanian, a wining club in recent years, and Shrewsbury. It was good to see the women's teams and the young athletes competing in several age groups.

The men's relays were over 6 stages of 5.9k. Louie Boot took the first stage and put Tipton in a good  position, 19th out of over a hundred teams, in a close finish losing ten places in the last 400m,  only seconds runners, and less than a minute behind the leaders, in 19 mins. 05 secs.  Luke Vine returning to the first team after improving during the summer season, but was below his best, though gaining five places in 19.16. Peter Brookes ran the third leg in fine style to gain 9 places to finish 5th in 18.23, and Ian Williams showed good form  to gain a place to 4th and record the fastest team time of 18.1 5. Martin Williams had a steady performance losing only one place recording 19.19, and Jonathan Carter ran hard to gain a place and finish Tipton in fourth position. timed at 18.59, and the team final time of 1 hour 53 mins. 17 secs. in front of Cheltenham and County,  and Coventry Godiva.  104 teams completed the relay. Tipton 'B' team had a commendable run in 18th position,  Adam Soley gave the team an encouraging start in 22nd, at 19.18, Nick Hardy gained two places in 19.46, an Stephen Corbishley improved to 17th 20.03, with Richard Carpenter on 4th improved again to 13th with a hard run that Harvey Maguire kept up to gain a place to 12th, 20.06, but Sean Barnsley  was below his best in 21.57 to finish the team in 18th,  time 2.00.53.     Tipton C team were 57th with James Booker the fastest  stage in 21.47 gaining 10 places , team time 2.15.14. Tipton D team were 82nd Philip Wilson running the fastest leg in 20.51, gaining 22 places, Adam Barnes started the team in 22.48, placing 81st on stage 1.
The Senior Women produced a solid result finishing 15th with Lynne Hill the fastest in the team on Stage 1 in 16m 59 secs. on a stage of 4.33k,  giving Tipton a good start in 15th place out of 107 teams that completed the race She was followed by Rebecca Turton who maintained the teams position  coming in 16th, and Amy Hadley picked up three places with a satisfying run with the team 13th, and finally on the 4th and final stage Catherine Holden ran with some tiredness to complete the team's 15th position, timed at 18.21, and team time of 1 hr. 09 mins. 41 secs . The 'b' team were 41st, the best stage was run by Bethany Walker on stage 1 in 17m. 15secs. in 27th place, Larna Partridge  followed in 26th, 18.05 , Katie Dolan 20.02 35th and Susannah Davies 41st finishing position,  team time 1.14.56.  Tipton women qualified for the National event.

The Men's  Masters Relay produced a fine win for the Tipton team, with Steve Brookes giving them a useful start to finish 4th  in 20.27, followed by a fine run by Ben Gamble taking the lead in 19.11, the second fastest stage of the day,then Phil Nicholls ran a swift fastest stage of the day in 19.01 opening up a big lead of 50 secs., Adam Guy, 21.23, Richard White, 19.57, 5th fastest on the day,  and Gary Whitehouse 20.47, brought Tipton home with a winning margin of 42 secs., a first class performance The 'B'vteam were 19th. It was encouraging to see the younger age groups fielding teams : U13 Boys 6th, U15 Girls 8th, U13 Girls 23rd, U17 Women 16th, U17 Men 11th, U15 boys incomplete but Cameron Lomax recorded a good run. It was good to see some older members of the club supporting  the teams like  Mike Hagar, the Tipton Veteran international, Mike Hinks, from the 1960's youths team and later the senior and vets team.  It would be good to see a few more at these events.
 
Tony Phillips, Life Member