Sunday’s Ridgeway Relay ended in triumph for one Reading Roadrunners squad… it just wasn’t the one you might have expected! Club chairman SAM WHALLEY tells the inside story..
Roadrunners’ Vets walked away with first place at last weekend’s Ridgeway Relay, for the first time since 2015. Then they were the only vets team, and finished last out of 42 teams, so also took home the wooden spoon!
This year’s over 50s were in a league of their own, coming 13th overall, out of 37 teams, and completing the 86.5 mile race from Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire to Marlborough in Wiltshire in 12 hours and 46 seconds. The second placed vets team was 24th, one hour and 40 minutes behind.
Gavin Rennie got the vets into a strong position from the off, finishing leg one in 16th place, and first vets team. The vets position was never in doubt, but the overall placing moved up to 11th and 12th after strong runs from Julie Rainbow (leg four, tenth fastest for that leg), Chris Webber (leg five, seventh fastest), and Ian Gosling (below, leg seven, ninth fastest), before settling into 13th until the end.
The remainder of this superstar vets team was made up by Eoin McLeod (leg two), Ann Rostern (leg three, gaining four places), Alan Freer (leg six), Peter Rennie (leg eight), David Fiddes (leg nine) and Pete Jewell (pictured below, leg ten). Congratulations to them all – truly inspirational.
Meanwhile the Mostly Men’s A team had to settle for second place behind Newbury AC after switching between first and third since Dave Boulton set the team off in the lead on leg one.
There were some fantastic runs throughout the day, most notably from Carrie Hoskins (leg four, gaining one place, second fastest for that leg), Ben Paviour (leg five, gaining one place, third fastest), and Chris Lucas, who ran the fastest time for leg six.
The rest of the team was made up of Sarah Dooley (leg two, sixth fastest), Tony Page (leg three, fourth fastest), Matthew Sarjent (leg seven, third fastest), Dave Parton (leg eight, third fastest), Mark Worringham (leg nine, second fastest) and Sibrand Rinzema (leg ten, fifth fastest). Sibrand was running his last race as a Reading Roadrunner before returning home to the Netherlands.
The Mostly Ladies team managed its highest ever placing with 19th, and third ladies team, thanks in particular to excellent runs from Dimi Gospodinov – one of the two permitted men – finishing in 11th place on leg one, Holly Sedgwick (leg seven, gaining three places) and Aga Faulkner (leg eight, gaining two places) and despite a couple of fallers among the rest of the team, made up of Mel Shaw (leg two), Sam Whalley (leg three), Alice Carpenter-Cave (leg four), Belinda Tull (leg five), Swinda Falkena (leg six – also returning to the Netherlands soon), Brooke Johnson (leg 9) and Liz Johnson (leg ten).
The Mostly Men’s B team finished in 30th, with Jamie Smith getting the team off to a great start in 15th and brilliant runs by Mike Worsfold (leg two, gaining three places, ninth fastest for that leg), Sophie Mures (leg four, gaining six places, fourth fastest), Lance Nortcliff (leg seven, gaining one place, seventh fastest), Fergal Donnelly (right, leg nine, gaining two places, sixth fastest) and Alix Eyles (leg ten, gaining one place).
Completing the team were Peter Higgs (leg five), Pete Morris (leg six), Claire Seymour (leg eight) and Jon Green, who added two miles to leg three by taking the wrong path through a corn field.
Congratulations to all those who took part and many thanks to the captains for putting the teams together. Thanks also to Barry Cornelius for the images of our guys toughing it out.
For more information on the route of the Ridgeway Relay, and to whet your appetite for next year, read this: http://www.marlboroughrunningclub.org.uk/uploads/files/documents/RidgewayRelay/Ridgeway_relay_information_pack_2022.pdf
Draft results can be found here: http://www.marlboroughrunningclub.org.uk/uploads/files/documents/RidgewayRelay/MRCRidgewayRelay2022DraftResults.pdf
Photos from leg five onwards can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/barrycorneliusox/sets/72177720300127853/