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South Of England Road Relays 23 September 2012

Hillingdon AC’s senior men’s team achieved their highest placed finish at these championships since 1996 by finishing in 20th place on a very wet and windy day in Aldershot.

As at the St Albans Relays the week before, the team once again showed remarkable consistency across the six legs of the relay with the fastest and slowest leg runners separated by just over a minute.

James Laing led the team off, rising to the challenge of running the first leg with a time of 19:37 to get the team in a strong position of 31st. Matt Fayers was next to run, clocking a time of 19:11, Matt made up 14 places to take the club up to 17th place after leg two. Dean Clark was on third leg and had the challenge of trying to hold position in a very competitive field – a task he acquitted himself to well, just missing out on running under 20 minutes with a time of 20:08. Robert and Daniel Thompson were running for the club on legs four and five as the team hovered round 20th position. Both got stuck in to the race, recording times of 19:48 and 20:13 to keep the club in contention for automatic qualification for the national finals. Martin Bateman was last to run – with his focus on the Berlin Marathon next week, he still made himself available for the team and his contribution proved vital as he passed Medway & Maidstone and Luton AC in the final metres of the race to secure 20th place.

Chris Ingram (22:11), James Manley (22:00) and Joe Saissi (23:06) who has just moved up this age group from the Under Seventeens competed for the B team.

This championship is always a high quality race and it is a tremendous achievement to finish in the top 20. Normally a combined time of under 2 hours is enough to secure a top 20 placing and so to clock 1:58:36 and finish in 20th position shows just how strong the competition was this year. As an example, last year that time would have been fast enough to take 16th place.

The veteran men were also in action with the over 50 men finishing in 10th place in their race, and the Vet 40 A and B teams finishing 24th and 26th in their race.

Full results may be found here.

Unfortunately after first posting this report I have found out that the National Six Stage Road Relays on 13 October have been cancelled due to an outbreak of E. coli in Sutton Park. A  full explanation may be found here.