Harriers’ Vets field three teams at the BMAF National Road Relays

Report: Steve Shaughnessy -

Stockport Harriers sent three teams to the British Masters Athletic Federation Road Relay Championships at Sutton Park on Saturday, 17 May.

Sunny and warm conditions awaited the team members who competed against some of the top veteran runners in the UK over an undulating 3 mile course. Spirits were high and the camaraderie amongst team members was boosted by the presence of Harriers veteran runner Chris Bryans, whose booming cheers encouraged the runners just before the final 300m.

For the first time in many years, the teams included a Women’s team in the 35-44 event. Samantha Thomas ran the 1st leg and put the team in a good position with a time of 21.34. Claire MacNeill, Vicky Barrett and Maureen Wilkins each followed and the team completed their 4 leg event in a combined time of 1.28.51 and finished 19th overall.

The Men’s 45-54 team also competed in a 4 leg event. Bashir Hussain ran the first leg for the team from a very crowded start pen and his time of 16.40 put the team in 7th place. Tom McNally, Peter Rogers and Paul Payne ran the other legs and the team finished 9th overall with a combined time of 1.08.12. Only 6 minutes separated the first 15 teams in this very competitive group.

Finally, the Men’s 55-64 team competed in a 3 leg event. Rob Taylor opened for the team and his speedy 18.07 put the team in 7th place. Steve Shaughnessy and Gerrard Moss followed and the team finished 16th overall with a combined time of 59.13.

Thanks to all the Harriers who took part in this event. Everyone seemed to enjoy both the competition and atmosphere at Sutton Park. If you will be 35 or older by next May, and are interested in taking part in the 2015 BMAF Road Relays, a notice will be posted by mid-March next year on the SHAC website. The event usually takes place on the 2nd or 3rd Saturday in March at Sutton Park, near Birmingham. Hopefully, we’ll be able to field at least one additional women’s team and a team in the 65+ event as well as teams in the same events as this year. If there is strong interest in any particular age group, the BMAF rules for the event now permit us to enter ‘B’ teams as well.

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