Runners get mixed results in the rain

Young Athletes National Road Relay ChampionshipsSutton Park, Birmingham hosted these annual championships and West Suffolk AC contested four of the six races.

Young Athletes National Road Relay Championships

Sutton Park, Birmingham hosted these annual championships and West Suffolk AC contested four of the six races.

A day that started bright and sunny soon became overcast and the latter races were run in steady heavy rain making conditions difficult for runners and spectators alike.

The West Suffolk AC squad was depleted with many athletes away on half term holidays and one or two nursing minor injuries.

Unusually all age groups raced over the same distance, 3800m which is exceptionally long for the Under 13 age groups.

The best team performance came from the Under 17 Mens 'A' team with an excellent 15th from 55 teams. Andrew Ridley led off and a leg in 12:36 saw him hand over 17th, but only 150m behind the leader, such was the closeness of the racing. Michael Cripps took over and a solid leg of 12:50 lifted the team to 10th. Andrew Waterhouse had a superb run by his standards to bring the team home with a final leg of 13:18.

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The 'B' team were also impressive with 32nd overall. Paul Mayes (13:18), Alex Dunbar (13:38) and Tom Smith (13:44).

The other full team contested the Under 15 Girls race and again placed well above half way with 23rd from 57 teams. Abby Marriott had a slightly below par performance for her and her time of 15:04 was good enough for 15th. Kelly Barnard took on the second leg and had an encouraging run in her first ever relay. A leg of 15:31 was good enough to lift the team to 11th at the final changeover. Frances Waterhouse faced an uphill struggle with most teams fielding their fastest runner on the last leg. Nevertheless Waterhouse persevered and had a good personal performance with her leg of 16:29 bringing the team in 23rd.

Kayleigh Samuels was the lone runner in the 'B' team and had a good run in her first relay with a 16:31 clocking.

Holly Archer, the only available athlete from the Bronze medal winning team at the South of England relays took the first leg in the Under 13 Girls race and handed over 9th, with a time of 15:38. Sarah Bibby had a solid run of 17:24 to bring the team in 17th.

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