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South Of England 12 Stage Road Relays 25 March 2012

Hillingdon AC’s men’s team secured a place in the National 12 Stage Road Relay Championships on 14 April with a strong showing at the Southern Road Relays where they finished 19th team.

Robert Thompson had the honour of leading the team off. Suffering from the recent effects of a cold, Robert ran well to finish the 7,664m leg in 26:02 and 30th place. Rob handed over to Matt Fayers who ran close to his recent p.b. for 5K, taking eight places and running 15:49 over the 5,053m course to move the team up to 22nd place.

Carl Yates was next up. Making his debut at the Southern 12 stage, Carl ran a steady race over the long leg to record 27:29 (L). Carl handed over to Dean Clark who put in another strong run at these championships, recording 16:30 (S). Next up was Dan Thompson who put in his typically gutsy performance, recording 26:18 (L) and moving the team up three places from 22nd to 19th place. Dan handed over to super vet 50 Richard Jenkin who matched Dan’s drive and determination to record 17:51 (S).

On leg seven was another debutant, James Manley who ran a controlled race, recording 26:38 (L) to keep the club in contention for a top 20 finish. James handed over to Chris Ingram (also making his debut) recording 17:20 (S) and picking up two places to move the club back to 19th place. Paul Cuddihy ran next, recording 27:51(L) despite illness tempering his usual competitive edge.

Joe Carton was on leg 10. Another athlete making his debut, Joe ran well to keep his focus at a point where big gaps were appearing between the competing athletes recording 17:43 (S).

Martin Bateman was on the final long leg. Displaying his customary appetite for racing in spite of the absence of direct competition, he recorded the club’s fastest time of the day with 25:56 (L). The team was completed by Sam Blanshard. Yet another athlete making his debut and recovering from a recent knee injury, Sam’s performance proved to be crucial with respect to the overall placings as cheered on by his team mates he held off Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets by nine seconds, recording 17:09 (S) to bring the team home in 19th place.

Well done to all those that competed. This was a higher quality race than in the previous couple of years and so to achieve automatic qualification for the National Relays was a good achievement.

Full results may be found here.