The Brighton & Hove men’s team continued their excellent progress of recent years with a strong 25th place finish at the prestigious National 12 stage Road Relays in Birmingham on Saturday. The team featured a blend of youth and experience, made up of two under 20’s, six 20-somethings, three 30-somethings, and one V45, dealing seamlessly with the unavoidable absence of one or two of the club’s faster runners.
Team captain, Howard Bristow, led from the front with an excellent 17th place on the notoriously fast opening “long leg” in a time of 25.37 over the undulating 8.1k loop. England cross-country international Will Gray impressively brought the team through to 7th place on the first of the short legs with a speedy 12.49 – 7th fastest of the day overall – before handing over to Sheffield-based Jonny Crickmore for a solid 22nd place third leg in 27.56. Leg 4 saw 19 year old Ian Crowe-Wright again demonstrate his great promise for the future with a terrific 13.17 to move into 16th place, followed by a strong 27.19 from Andy Donno to end leg 5 in 21st.
From that point on, the team swung back and forth between 22nd and 27th place, with consistent long legs from 48 year old David Benton (27.44), Ashley Humphries (27.50) and Zared Hale (28.44), and equally strong short legs from Niall Robinson (15.07), Dave Boyce (14.30), Ash Witcomb (14.40) and Charlie Noakes (15.22). Charlie, in particular, deserves special recognition for joining the team at short notice and waiting anxiously all day for the final leg to bring the team home in 25th place – well done, Charlie!
The B&H team is already looking forward to next autumn’s Southern and National 6-stage Relays when yet more big steps forward are expected! Well done again to everyone who competed on Saturday – great commitment and team spirit from start to finish.