Midland Relay (23/03/2014)

Club Coaching Coordinator Tony Phillips has submitted his view on the recent Midland Road Relay.

"Last Sunday Tipton Harriers senior men's team had a fine performance in the Midland 12 Stage Road Relay and finished in silver medal position behind the winners Notts. A.C, currently one of the strongest clubs in the country, having finished second in the recent National Cross Country Championships, beaten by only a few points.

It was more like a summer's day when Richard Kay started off for Tipton on the first long stage of over 5 miles, giving the club a great start by finishing in third place. Dan Dalmedo kept Tipton in fourth place after a solid run on the short stage, that Martin Williams maintained on the long stage. Ian Williams ran a good stage to improve the position to third, followed by a fast stage by Ian Rawlinson who gained almost a minute on the Coventry Godiva runner in second place. Fast improving young runner Philip Wilson kept the club in the same position but increased the gap on Birchfield, fourth, and Bristol, fifth, He handed over to Josh Lilly, who had to take a detour to avoid the closure of the M6 to arrive in time for the relay; he proceeded to run a fast stage to bring Tipton into second position with the fourth fastest time for the long stage of 25 mins. 14 secs.,leaving Notts. just over a minute ahead He handed over to Liam Roberts who also arrived late after being woken by the team manager following night duty as a doctor in a Birmingham hospital. After a dash to the park Liam proceeded to run a useful Stage 8 to hand over to Nigel Stirk, who ran a solid leg to keep Tipton in second place.

Team manager Dan Beier recovered from the emergency situations of Josh and Liam, who kept him aware of their progress by mobile communication, and maintained the club position, as did Tom Holden on the penultimate stage. Notts. AC had taken the lead on the fifth stage and could not be caught, but Phil Nicholls reduced the gap on the final lap by a minute, with the third fastest time of the day, 13 mins. 18 secs., for the 2.7 miles, leaving Notts. AC just over a minute in front after the 12 stages in a time of 3 hrs. 33 mins. 01 secs., keeping up the successful traditions of being a dominant team in 12 stage road relays. Tipton had another success with the 'B' team the first to finish in 16th place, to qualify for the National event. Luke Vine the youngest Tipton runner did the fastest time for the short stage for 'B' teams 14 mins. 02 secs., and Oz Ellis did the fastest on the day of the 'B' teams long stage in 27 mins. 27 secs.

The next challenge is the National 12 Stage Road Relay at Sutton Park on Sat. 5th April, when Tipton will take on the country's best endurance running clubs, and aim to maintain the outstanding record in this event. Club members come and support the team."