Gareth Cadd reports: On Saturday 14th April, the weather picked up thankfully for the National Men’s 12 Stage Relays. The Nationals to me, is a great opportunity to see and compete against some of the best runners in the country.
Up first was Gary Blackman, who carried on his current form and obliterated the men’s long stage record running a time of 27.43 and came home in 30th position. Then the pressure was on Heath Mason due to being dropped into the business end of the race and he clung on to some to run a time of 17.06 for the 1st short leg.
Paul Thompson then took over from Heath running a time of 29.26 and pulling back 3 places to move us into 42nd position passing over to Sam Chatwin who took a huge 35 second chunk out of the time he ran at the Midlands Relays a fortnight ago and came back in 17.04.
I (Gareth Cadd) ran the 3rd long leg and spent most of the journey out to Streetly Gate trying to catch the Leeds “B” team runner who set of about 20 seconds before me, once I’d caught him I think it spurred him on a bit because he just would not let go and we jostled for position all the way back but thankfully, Joes hills, hills and more hills sessions throughout the winter helped me prevail on the last big climb up to the finish line. I got round in a time of 29.34 which is a new PB for me and gained 1 place overall. Stuart Pearson then took the 3rd short leg taking a big 9 seconds out of the time he run at the Midlands Relays and came back in a time of 17.33
Rich Bayliss ran out the 7th leg and ran a respectable time of 30.53 for his long leg debut. Chris Tarren then took over and ran a huge PB of 17.39, which was 22 seconds quicker than the time he ran a fortnight ago.
Orlando (Ice-Man. In reference to the Aviators) Corea ran a new PB of 29.23 and in doing so clawed back a massive 4 places in the overall standings moving us into 41st position. Chris Collins then ran the pan-ultimate short leg in a time 17.05 fending off any challenges to our position.
The final long leg of the day was ran by Matt Cook clock in an outstanding time of 29.30 for his debut and gained us 4 places. The final leg was ran by Chris Harlan-Marks in time of 18.20, which was a PB for him.
We finish originally in 37th but due to the disqualification of another team we were moved to 36th overall.
We had finished in the highest overall position in the clubs history and beat the old club National 12 Stage record by whopping 10 minutes. I am very grateful again for all the runners for digging deep and pulling out some storming performances.
And for their support a big thanks to Barrie and Katie Roberts, Brian and Izzy (I think that how its spelt) Pearson, Joe Lewis, Rob Andrew, Dean Parker and anybody else who cheered us on.
Race results (PDF).