Well done to the 21 guys who competed for Massey Ferguson in the Midland 12 Stage Road Relays at Sutton Park on Saturday. This fantastic event is a real highlight of the club road running calendar, with 64 teams from across the region competing to qualify for the National relays on the 16th April, against the best clubs in England. There is also the ladies 6 Stage relay on the same day, starting around the same time which means a great mixed field around the beautiful Sutton Park. Although there were some grey skies on arrival it soon brightened up, and turned into a lovely sunny afternoon to be out in the park.
For the first time in a long while, Massey men entered 2 teams although unfortunately we were unable to get a full complement for the ‘B’ team which meant a couple of the ‘A’ team members valiantly running a second leg in the mass start at the end. The format is 4 long legs of 5.38 miles, the first 4 legs, and 8 legs of 3.1 miles which is 5-12. That’s just a parkrun distance for the short leg so achievable for all so would be great to see a few more members get involved in the future.
Massey ‘A’ got off to a flying start with Matt Amos who has recently joined us from Nuneaton. With Matt’s run, Massey was 10th after the first leg which typically includes the fastest runner from each club. We maintained a strong position through the legs 1-4, with Pete Freedman putting us in 12th position after leg 4 with the 5th fastest run of his group. With the top 25 qualifying for the National finals, we were starting to think it may be possible! For the ‘B’ team it was great to see excellent performances from debutants in this competition for Massey, Jamie Turner continued his excellent form from the Bham League, followed up by José and Flan. Leighton Jackson also put in a great performance on leg 5 and I think all enjoyed the experience of competing in this team event.
The race concluded with a mass start for the remaining legs at 16:15, this included Simon Neale running the last leg for the ‘A’ team, and the final 3 legs for the ‘B’ team which were valiantly covered by Dean Clarke, Gary Lawson and Dave Clarke. Simon put in a storming performance to clock the fastest short leg time for Massey for the day, with the team finishing 18th overall and provisionally qualifying for the National 12 Stage Relays on 16th April, again at Sutton Park. The ‘B’ team finished in a very credible 41st best time (just ahead of Northbook ‘A’!), but unfortunately were disqualified as it was noted we had sent runners for a 2nd leg. This is commonplace and a bit of sour grapes from one of our rival Coventry clubs who spotted Dave Clarke running again.
Well done to everyone who ran, and also many thanks to those who came out to support on a lovely sunny day, including Terry Harvey, Norman Jarvis, Julie Hall, Martin Smith and Chris Brown and family – was great to see you all there. It would be great if we could get some more supporters along for the National Relay on Saturday 16th April, it’s a great place to spend a couple of hours for an afternoon, with refreshments, running merchandise stalls, pubs and kids play areas all in close proximity!
Race report by Ross Cooper
39 Massey Ferguson RC [A] 4:35:22 25
1 Matt Amos (10) 28:19 2 Ross Cooper (18) 32:21
3 Dean Clarke (21) 32:17 4 Pete Freedman (12) 28:28
5 Mick O’Shea (18) 19:23 6 Dave Clarke (18) 19:01
7 Gary Lawson (20) 19:27 8 Simon Brown (20) 20:00
9 Jason Nicholson (21) 19:21 10 JerryTrill (19) 17:20
11 Tony Hoy (19) 20:38 12 Simon Neale (18) 18:47
40 Massey Ferguson RC [B] 5:11:45
1 Jamie Turner (54) 36:20 2 Jose Alonso Sanchez (53) 36:27
3 Grahame Flanagan (51) 35:12 4 Peter Paprcka (52) 37:32
5 Leighton Jackson (53) 22:43 6 John Clarke (50) 19:34
7 Steve Mumford (48) 21:47 8 Jack Blakemore (46) 21:03
9 Dave Lee (44) 21:21 10 Dean Clarke (43) 18:51
11 Gary Lawson (41) 20:58 12 Dave Clarke (41) 19:57