The Brighton and Hove Men’s team started their winter by finishing in 36th place at the SEAA 6 Stage Road Relay Championships at Aldershot on Saturday. It was a mixed day for Brighton who were trying to qualify for the National Road Relays in Sutton Park next month. In the end a top 25 finish and qualification was beyond a weakened Brighton team but there was the consolation of being the highest place Sussex team.
Each runner was required to run two undulating laps of Rushmore Arena totalling 6k. Kev Mason took the challenging first leg and gave the Brighton A team a good start finishing in 34th position with 19:43. Dave Boyce coming off a two week break ran a solid leg of 20:40 to finish 43rd. Shaun Billing, a last minute addition to the team ran to form with 21:23, to leave us 47th. Fourth leg was Dan Tetheradge. Dan has been struggling for fitness recently and his leg of 22:08 dropped us to 52nd.
It was now over to Andy Donno and Chris Thomson on legs five and six to try and turn things around. Andy set off and looked to be flying on the first lap of the two lap course. This pace was continued on lap two and Andy’s time of 19:35 gained the team 11 places.
Last year on the final leg Chris took the team into a qualification position on the final leg. This year he had too much to do and had to concentrate on maintaining our position as first Sussex team. Chris set off at a controlled pace covering the first lap in 10:00. On the second lap Chris began to push and with a fast last lap of 9:46 finished with 19:46. Another 5 places had been gained and we ended up 36th. Given the hilly nature of this course it is difficult to run a negative split so well done to Chris for keeping his head and maintaining our position as first Sussex team home, albeit only by 15 seconds.