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Aldershot Road Relays, Rushmoor Arena, 24/09/2022

Hillingdon AC’s Senior Men finished 36th in the Aldershot Road Relays as autumn six-stage road relay racing returned to Rushmoor Arena for the first time since 2015.

With qualification for the National Six Stage Road Relays split between the Aldershot Road Relays and the SEAA Road Relays at Crystal Palace and with a minimum of eight qualification places split between both events, the men’s team were seeking a place in the top 18 in order to be considered for selection for the national finals. However, the standard of athletics and the strength of competition shown at Aldershot, where the vast majority of major clubs from the south chose to compete, meant that Hillingdon AC’s men faced a tough challenge.

James Laing was first off for the club, clocking a time of 19:23 over the undulating two-lap 6km course to put the team in 32nd place after leg 1. Charlie Edwards was next off, running a difficult second leg on the back of the fast start from James but still recording a time of 21:46 before handing over to new member Kallum Pritchard. Kallum was making his competitive debut for the club and with no prior experience of relay racing, Kallum acquitted himself well to post a time of  21:30.

On leg four, Kirk O’Rourke suffered some difficulties with a stitch that slowed him on his second lap of the circuit, recording a time of 21.04 before handing over to Liam Holbrook. Liam has been one of main competitors for the club over the track and field season this summer and put some of that track speed to good use on leg five to post of a time of 20:26.

Matt Whitfield was on the anchor leg for the team. Matt has joined the club recently after moving to the local area and finishing second in the recent Hillingdon 20. With previous experience from competing in the Northern and Midlands Six Stage Road Relays, Matt set about running his leg with intent, moving the team up a number of places as he caught and passed athletes from other clubs, recording a time of 19:32 to bring the team home in their final position of 36th.

Full results may be found here.