Saturday, 3rd October 2015
Bolton’s leading light Tom Lancashire returned to the 6-Stage team line-up today for the national road relays at Birmingham’s Sutton Park after being unavailable for the qualifiers a fortnight ago. Tucking in for most of the 3.7M/5.8K course, he showed his class and tactical nous by turning on the afterburners with 500m to go. Overtaking Cheltenham’s Graham Rush and WSEH’s Alexander Tovey (Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow AC – a contender for the longest club name after ECH&TAC!) along the way, he crossed the line in 17:17 – the third quickest time of the day.
Tony Valentine took on the baton in first place by 4 seconds before handing over to Karl Darcy, still suffering from the lurgy that has affected much of Bolton’s endurance squad over the last month. Jonny Kay was the fourth runner and returned happier after his improved performance from Blackpool. Junior athlete Declan Toomey stepped up from the B Team at Blackpool to deliver a controlled penultimate leg; it was good high-level experience for the youngster who is sure to be a force to be reckoned with in the future. Martin Reid ran the glory leg, bringing the club home in a cumulative 1:55:20 for 35th overall place. That it was the ninth placing of all northern ‘A’ teams, despite the prevalent illness and lack of competitive fitness for most, will give a boost for their 2016 aspirations, having effectively moved up ten places from the Northerns. Coordinator Dave Shaw is already looking forward to March’s 12-Stage, “If we can get a fully fit squad, we’ll be looking to challenge for a top 5 placing!”
35 BUH&AC 1:55:20: – Tom Lancashire (1) 17:17; Anthony Valentine (24) 19:15; Karl Darcy (32) 19:39; Jonothan Kay (34) 19:32; Declan Toomey (36) 20:11; Martin Reid (36) 19:26