Midland Road Relays Report (01/10/2018)

Tony Phillips has provided his view of the Midland Men's races.

"The Midland Counties 6 Stage Road Relay Championships were held at Sutton Park last Saturday, 22nd September. The Senior Men's course was 5.88 km, the outward sections including two testing inclines in the first 2 km.

Tipton's men's team achieved fine performance, winning silver medals, improving on 4th place last year, and giving an indication that with a full team they could improve considerably on last year's 24th place when competing in the National  6 Stage Road Relay next week at the same venue.

The B team finished 15th out of 106 teams that completed the relay. Tipton's runners appeared in the fastest times overall in five stages, Stuart Hawkes 2nd on Stage 1, 18m 02secs. Peter Brookes 2nd on Stage 3 17.49 Ian Williams 2nd Stage 4, 18.22, Tom Baines 2nd Stage 5, 17.47, Jonathan Carter 3rd Stage 6, 18.33. Also, three were in the fastest 10 overall - Tom Baines 2nd=, Peter Brookes 5th, and Stuart Hawkes 8th.

Stuart gave the team a great start with second place. Louie Boot was a late replacement for injured Joe Smith and in making his debut found it hard going, but after a determined run was 9th. Peter Brookes took up the running and with a fluent effort he was flying down the inward section to gain five places and finishing only a second behind the leading teams,  Birchfield, Bristol and Cheltenham. Ian Williams with an all out effort gained a place to put the team in a medal position. Tom Baines, a newcomer to the event, showed his class and didn’t miss the chance to take Tipton into second place with the 4th fastest time of the day. Jonathan Carter had the task of keeping the team in runners up position on the final stage, which he did with a confident run to increase the lead over third placed Cheltenham to finish in 1 hour 49 mins. 51 secs. Notts.AC followed in fourth, and Bristol & West 5th.

This was an encouraging start to the endurance running programme of road relays and cross country running.
Tipton's B team finished 15th, with Philip Wilson the fastest leg, 19.05, gaining six places on Stage 4, after Tom Holden 24th on Stage 1, Steve Brooks showing improving form gained 9 places in 19.15 then Steve Corbishley gained another 5 places 19.30, and Dean Bate gained further place with 19.33 to bring the 'B' team into 15th.

Tipton's Master’s team had an outstanding run, winning the event in 1h 58m 18s. Martin Williams gave the team a great start to give them the lead on Stage 1, with the fastest time of the day. Tipton led all the way except on Stage 3, Tipton had five of the fastest times of the day overall, Karl Welborn being second fastest on leg 5, 19.01, Ben Gamble, making a welcome return after injury, 4th fastest overall on Stage 4, 19.09. Oz Ellis on stage 3 was 9th overall, 19.44, and Richard White 19.43 on leg 2, with Gary Whitehouse concluding the relay in top place, 19.49, second fastest on the final leg and a total time of 1h 56m 18s. Leicester Coritanian, a dominating team in recent years, second,  and Rugby and Northampton were third. Tipton B team were a good 6th.   A day of achievement for the senior men."