New look Mansfield Harriers perform well as squad tested to limit

Craig kelly starting the Harriers off on stage 1
Craig kelly starting the Harriers off on stage 1

Mansfield Harriers had teams entered for the Midlands Men’s 12 stage and ladies 6 stage road relays at Sutton Park in Sutton Coldfield last weekend.

The race is one of the classic races in the road calendar, with men’s race having four long legs of around 5.5 mile and eight short of 3.2 miles and the ladies six mlegs of the same distance.

The men’s team had a solid performance finishing in 34th place competing against the best teams in the Midlands.

The team was hit by several athletes having to pull out due to injury or illness and the depth of the squad was fully tested on the day.

Leading off for the team Craig Kelly ran 31.59 on the first long leg, followed by Chris Monk who ran 17.47 on the first short leg.

Chris Allcock ran the second long leg in 34.32 and handed over to Lewis Ashmore who, on his debut in the event, ran a promising 17.15 to overtake 12 clubs. New recruit Andy Wetherill, in his first championship race, for the club ran a strong 33.30 and, on the sixth leg, Jonny Lowe recovered from illness to run 18.35.

The final long leg was run by Paul Butcher, who powered through the field to put the club in its highest position of the day, running 31.24.

Leg 8 was a solid run from Phil Shaw in 18.38, while leg 9 saw a promising run from Neil Cope in 19.22.

Martin Fickling maintained the club’s position running 21.49, Colin Fell ran leg 11 in 23.01 and the team was anchored by Dave Robertson in 24,23

The ladies suffered a last minute drop out due to illness so the team failed to complete. However all five athletes that ran gave fine performances.

Bev Armstrong ran the first leg in an excellent 22.44, followed closely by Amanda Hardy who ran 22.47.

Amanda Shaw ran the third leg in 27.03 followed by Julie Bell in 31.36 and Denise Winfield in 28.48.

On the next day Bev Armstrong continued her recent great from coming 2nd lady in the Gedling 10k a new and very hilly event. Steve Davies ran the Thornley 10k in 40,53 and in doing so won the over 55 event.