Gordon Smith Relays, 11th May 2022

We had a decent turnout of 8 teams at this year’s Gordon Smith Relays, 5 in the women’s race and 3 in the men’s. It was great to see a number of relay debutants, including Couch to 5K graduates. I hope they enjoyed it and come back for more (even though, in my opinion, this is the least spectator friendly of all the relays and the most boring course!).
The route starts on the wagonway, before doing a circuit of the Business Park and returning through a short stretch of woodland to the start. It is a fairly flat, fast route and the main issue for runners was a long stretch into a headwind.

Fresh from their success in the NE Masters Relays last week, the same three lasses formed our “A” team. They did us proud again. All three had excellent runs with Sarah got them off to a great start, Nicki held onto a good position before a fantastic last leg from Catherine saw them home in the bronze medal position. First and third in consecutive relays – very well done, ladies!

There were solid performances from the other ladies teams too. I am sure that Rachel, Naomi and Lois all now know how fast the first leg of a relay can be! I think Nikoletta deserves a special mention. She only joined the club a few days ago and showed a lot of promise on her first outing in sky blue, especially as she lost a couple of seconds by going on the wrong side of the path near the end!

The men’s “A” team got off to a flyer with Kris covering the 2 mile course in an amazing time of 9:59. Unfortunately Mark was hampered by the recurrence of an injury, which forced him to limp for the last kilometre. He probably hasn’t done himself any favours but showed to grit to still post a decent time for the team. Paul then put in another very fast leg to bring them home in 27th place.

The men’s “B” team all ran well for a very respectable position, and even the old man’s team were far from last! So a very satisfactory night’s racing, even if I did forget to get the cake tin out – I’ll just have to eat them all myself!

Ladies
PositionRunnersTime
3Sarah Kerr
Nicki O’Brien
Catherine Young
Team Time
12:31
13:27
12:19
38:17
29Liz Denyer
Julie Cross
Maddie Day
Team Time
15:33
15:01
14:10
44:44
33Rachel Hurdman
Nikoletta Szlovak
Maria Duenas
Team Time
16:17
13:29
15:44
45:30
43Naomi Rose
Elizabeth O’Mahony
Allie Wilson
Team Time
14:34
19:48
15:22
49:44
58Lois Blaylock
Mary Martin
Nina Jensen
Team Time
23:08
20:37
14:50
58:35
PositionRunnersTime
27Kris Axon
Mark Anderson
Paul Robinson
Team Time
09:59
13:26
11:53
35:18
48Dean O’Brien
Laurie Johnson
Sonam Wangdi
Team Time
13:58
13:13
12:22
39:37
63Rob Newton
Tom Tinsley
David Lydall
Team Time
17:19
12:43
13:59
44:01
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