NEMAA Relays, 4th May 2022
It was a successful night for Claremont at the North East Masters Relays with a gold medal winning performance from the Ladies “A” team of Nicki O’Brien, Sarah Kerr and Catherine Young. Congratulations, ladies!
The race is on tarmac paths in Bedewell Park, Jarrow with each runner completing 2 laps of 1500m each. It is for veterans, i.e. over 35s, only and there are prizes for teams in each 10 year age group. There were two races – the first for Women and Over-65 Men’s teams, and the second for Men from 35 to 64. We had 3 teams in the first race, though the men’s over 65 team was incomplete, having only 2 runners.
Nicki O’Brien, Heather Steel and Kenny McCormick set off for the first leg. Nicki ran a strong leg to put the “A” team in 9th place and Heather also ran well, despite feeling unwell. Nicki handed over to Sarah, who stormed through the field, overtaking everybody and establishing a lead of over 30 seconds. This left Catherine with the unenviable task of running from the front and holding on – this she did admirably to take the tape, still over 30 seconds ahead of the 2nd placed team from North Shields Poly. A great team performance and a well-deserved victory for the Claremont lasses. Sarah and Catherine were both given the same time of 12:03, which placed them joint 2nd in the table for individual leg times. Well done to all!
Slightly further down the field, Heather had handed over to Julie Cross and then Rachel Hurdman, making her relay debut. Both Julie and Rachel put in solid performances for a mid-table finish. Kenny passed the baton to Rob Newton but, sadly, there was no 3rd runner to complete the team – a shame as there was only one other over 65 team on the night, so at least 2nd place would have been guaranteed.
Following the excitement of a Claremont victory, the second race was a bit of an anti-climax. The only men’s team of Laurie Johnson, Dean O’Brien and Tom Tinsley did their best but were a fair way down the field.