Gordon Smith Relays, 8th May 2019

I have to say that this is my least favourite of all the relays in the North East club calendar – I much preferred the old location on the paths by Segedunum. So I wasn’t looking forward to it when we left the house to venture out into rush hour traffic in heavy rain with the car’s thermometer showing a not-very-May-like 7°.

However by the time we got to the meeting place in Cobalt Business Park, the rain had relented a bit and there was already a good group of Claremonters assembled – most like me wondering “why do we do this?”. I think we do it for the camaraderie, team spirit, laughs and cake (but mainly the cake!). With a good turnout from Claremont, all of these elements were there to help us forget about the weather and have a good evening’s racing.

There was a particularly good turnout from the ladies with 6 female teams far outnumbering the 2 teams of men. And it was the ladies who were, as ever, the most impressive with a 14th placed finish for Catherine Young, Serpil Bulut and Hannah Mainprize. Indeed, they were the fastest Claremont team on the night with Catherine and Hannah being the 2nd and 3rd fastest Sky Blues of any gender – only our super speedy Spaniard, Daniel Mourenza, posted a faster time.

There was a good battle between the other 5 ladies teams, who all finished in a cluster. The “winners” of this battle were Nina Jentl, Violeta Tsenova and Gill Milne – largely to an excellent run from Violeta who was making her competitive debut for the club and posted the 3rd fastest time for a Claremont lady on the night.

It was also a close battle between the two mens’ teams with the lead changing hands on each leg, but Alasdair Wilson Craw took Kenny McCormick on the last leg to claim the prize for himself, Daniel and Dave Kear.

PositionLeg 1TimeLeg 2TimeLeg 3TimeTeam Time
14Catherine Young12:04Serpil Bulut14:58Hannah Mainprize12:1639:18
42Nina Jentl14:46Violeta Tsenova13:55Gill Milne17:0345:44
47Julija Simpson15:51Nina Jensen14:46Julie Dumpleton16:3247:06
49Hazel Juggins15:54Tara McCully14:47Ay Okpokam16:4647:27
51Sarah Bowen14:45Alice Vialard16:14Mary Martin16:5547:54
53Kat Truong15:29Marie Slack16:45Cath Robson17:0949:23
62Daniel Mourenza11:41Dave Kear16:54Alasdair Wilson Craw14:1442:49
64Tom Tinsley12:29Howard MacLennan13:29Ken McCormick17:2243:20

I think David Lydall was first to spot the excellent co-ordination and synchronisation of the “Nina Jens”!

Thanks to Serpil, Howard and myself for the photos – now on Flickr via the link below: