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Midland Counties 6 and 4 Stage Road Relays 23 September 2023 at Sutton Park

Thank you to Craig for this great race report from this Autumns Road Relays at Sutton Park. Credit to Tahir for the photos.


We were blessed with the weather on an early autumn day. The sun was shining and it was pleasantly mild without being too warm. As usual, the park looked glorious with some of the leaves starting to show their autumn colours.

Nick, Charles and I travelled by train, carrying the tent and flag with us. It all went smoothly and because I had company, erecting the tent was a doddle. Nick and I had more trouble travelling back with trains delayed. Charles made the right choice and went earlier. Mind you, we did manage to offload the flag on Jenny and the tent on Andy L.

We had one and a bit teams for both the ladies and men. Quite often in my race reports I’d run through how all got on. But this year because I ran and was too tired to note how all got on, I can only go by the times recorded.

The ladies’ times were:

Team A

Katie 20:38

Julie 21:14

Meg 21:34

Liz 21:40

Team B

Manisha 23:53

Jenny 22:41

The ladies finished 19th out of 24. This is a really good achievement and bodes well as we go into the cross-country season.

It was good to see Liz back racing and I believe this was Katie’s first race in a team event for Sparkhill.

Well done, Katie.

The men’s times were:

Team A

Andy W 25:24

James 27:29

Andy L 28:15

Charles 27:13

Barry 26:39

Nick 24:53

Team B

Andy M 28:56

Tahir 29:00

Sas 28:55

Craig 34:27

The men finished 27th out of 28. We weren’t last! There were several senior teams with slower times and if the two races were combined, we’d have come 109th out of 117.

For the men it was really pleasing to see Charles and Sas running their first races in a Sparkhill vest. Both recorded good times. Well done.

Andy M, Tahir and Sas ran very similar times which suggests some close races between them in the

cross-country season. My money is on ………

Shock of the day was Barry completing. Based on all the issues he was describing in the tent beforethe race, I’m staggered his body lasted. Barry will be donating his body to science.

A few of us stayed for a drink in the park after the race. A chance to mull over the race and put theworld to right. A good end to the day.

A special mention to Tahir. He travelled all the way from Leeds to race, something he often does.

Thank you and well done, Tahir.

Thank you to Paul and Gavin for coming to cheer us on. Gavin made it this year. It was my fault he didn’t make it last year (I didn’t tell him when it was on). The support is much appreciated.



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