THANKS to a strong performance at last month’s Midland Road Relay Championships, Stratford Athletic Club earned a place at the prestigious National 12-Stage Road Relay Championships for the first time in seven years.
The race comprises 12 stages, with the six longer legs (5.38 miles) alternating with six shorter legs (3.165 miles).
Oscar Barbour, the youngest member of the 12-man squad, led off the team with a storming sub-30-minute clocking on the first stage.
“Being on the first leg, I expected a fast start,” said Barbour.
“I just tried to run my own race based on those around me and not get too carried away.”
He handed over to Malcolm Bowyer, the most experienced man on the team, with Ollie Senior and James Cusack following next in the order.
Fergus Allison, the other teenager in the team, produced Stratford’s second-best clocking for the long stage.
“Sutton Park is always a tough course at the beginning and end, but there’s a nice two-mile stretch in the middle of the long leg,” said Allison.
“Oscar and I are away at different universities for most of the year, so it’s always great to come home and race with him.”
Martyn Helliker recorded Stratford’s quickest time for the short stages with a 20:35 clocking on leg six. Relays debutant Seb Hopper was next up, followed by the returning David Battersby.
Peter Sugden, Alan Dwyer, Wayne Vickers and Ben Twyman brought the team home, giving Stratford an aggregate time of 5:37:23 to place 63rd overall.