National 12 Stage (08/04/2014)

Tipton Harriers demonstrated that they are still in the top level of road running when they finished 6th in the National Road Relay held at Sutton Park, but could not equal the achievements of two winning teams in the last three years.

Leeds City won the event with a strong team that led from Stage 7, in a time of 3 hrs. 50 mins. 41 secs. from Morpeth Harriers, 3.51.48, and third, Aldershot, Farnham and District 3.5157, followed by Central AC, Glasgow, 3.53.37, and Notts.AC, 3.54.00, and in 6th position, Tipton Harriers, 3.54.18, in front of past winners Bedford and Co., and other recognised clubs - Sale Harriers, Manchester, Highgate Harriers, Swansea Harriers, and Bristol and West AC. showing the wide representation of 62 clubs taking part.

On a fine sunny day Richard Kay gave Tipton a good start finishing 6th in a time of 25 mins. 00 secs. on the long stage,only 40 secs,. down on the leading Cardiff team. Dan Dalmedo ran a sound stage in 13.36, but slower than rivals so dropped four places to 10th. He handed over to Ian Rawlinson who was in good form to record a fast time and improved Tipton's position by four places to 6th. On Stage 4 Tom Holden, time, 14.10, found the course a tough proposition with rival runners recording fast times Tipton found themselves in 10th place when Josh Lilly took over.

He proceeded to have an outstanding run on the long stage and recorded the fastest stage time, 24.40 tat brought the club back to 7th. and handed over to young and improved Philip Wilson, who performed well in his first National Road Relay, recording 13.45 for the short course, to keep Tipton 7th.

Matt Granger had a disappointing run on the long 7th leg, 26.44, and was below his best, finding the undulating course hard going to place Tipton 10th. Liam Roberts took over to produce a good run, 13.35, to improve Tipton's position to 9th, when Mike Aspinall put in a inspired run against some of the strongest runners on the long stage to keep the club in 9th place, with a time that was amongst the fastest , timed at 25.38.

Handing over to Adrian Holliday, who was unsure of his form, proceeded to run the fastest stage time, 12.57, and improve the team's position by four places, so Ian Williams started the long 11th stage in 6th position, and after a determined run against a high standard of rival teams he kept Tipton in 7th place, and gave the club's final short course runner Phil Nicholls the chance to achieve a high position, he did not disappoint with a fat run and second fastest on the stage to bring Tipton Harriers home in 6th position, in a time of 3 hrs. 54 mins. 18 secs..

Tipton were on of the few clubs to have two teams to qualify for the National event, and the B team finished 51st in 4 hrs. 35 mins. 55 secs. Oz Ellis gave the team a good start in 43rd , and othe runners to have good runs included Chris Fullerton 27.26, on the long leg, Adam Soley, 29.02, Dean Hill 29.11, and on the short stages Steve Abrahams, 14.08, good run from a young team member, John Millington 15.09, and Phil Clamp, 14.40.

Altogether, a day on which the club and team members can take a great deal of satisfaction; but to aim for the top again next year!

Tony Phillips, Coaching Coordinator