Bolton Harriers took a fine team to the Northern Road Relays on the 18th September with a great mix of experienced long time harriers blended with relative newcomers to running.
Danny Shaw, fresh from track pb’s over the summer led the men out on leg 1 bringing the team home in 27th in a superb time of 18:48. Previously a hockey player, Danny saw the light and has reaped the rewards as he has fully committed to running. He showed great determination and was really pleased with his performance.
Next out of the traps was the birthday boy. Such is his dedication to the blue and yellow vest Martin Reid had decided the road relays were how he wanted to mark his 40th. Arriving to the event wearing a birthday boy rosette ensured maximum birthday greetings from passing strangers. The newest vet40 on the block ran brilliantly overtaking 4 teams and coming home in 19:24. Happy Birthday!
Tony Valentine took over on the third leg.
The highly ranked master’s athlete continued the overtaking cruising past another team bringing Bolton into 22nd position (19:47).
Jonothan Kay opting to run a middle leg, ran a solid race and was the team’s fastest leg of the day (18:46). Having been hampered with a string of injuries, these are now gone and he can look forward to returning to his faster former self as training progresses.
Jordan Brophy, one of our newest members took up the next leg. Jordan, a talented engineer took to running during lockdown. Having noticed on Strava that people were running round in circles nearby he emailed the club and is now a solid member of Dave Shaw’s training group. He ran 22:35 bringing the team to 26th.
This is where things got interesting as in order to qualify for National Road relays the team were required to finish top 25. Will Tomlinson took up the anchor leg opting for a few energetic high fives as he passed his supporters. Previously a footballer he decided running in straight lines were better on his knees and is another talented new recruit to the training group. Large gaps had by this time built up. He maintained excellent form and ran 21:30 for the team to finish in 27th position.
So close, but yet so far……But hang on, a quick check of the T&C’s by coach Dave Shaw revealing Bolton Men’s team had infact finished inside the top 25 ‘A’ teams with a couple of ‘B’ teams ahead meant they had done just enough. A perfect team effort and they were off to the National Road Relays in October!
‘Bolton’s Baywatch’ enjoyed a post race dip in the sea. Luckily Tony had remembered to bring an under sized towel and under sized tent for some under sized changing facilities.
To be continued in Sutton Park Birmingham on 9th October…….