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The National Road Relays

Tuesday 21 April 2009

Cardiff’s men performed above expectations at the National 12 Stage road relay championships held at Sutton Park last Saturday, 18th April. After a 45 minute delay to the start of the race owing to a major accident on the M6 motorway, 68 teams lined up for the start of this great race. Mike Johnson got the team off to a storming start, coming in to the first change over in second place, only seven seconds down on Harrow’s Adam Bowden. The picture shows Mike Johnson at the end of his great first leg.

Mike’s time of 26m.36 was the fastest of Cardiff’s long leg runners. Chris Moss held second position for Cardiff with the squad’s fastest short leg (14m.35) which was also the 8th fastest of stage 2. Tom Marshall took over from Chris but was unable to hold Cardiff’s initial strong showing, slipping to 11th place overall. This is a tough race and Cardiff suffered from the absences of no less than 12 possible runners from the original selections as a result of clashes with other commitments (including a honeymoon – guess whose!). The team finished in 32nd place out of 62 finishing teams which was a fine performance in the circumstances.
The winning team was from Belgrave Harriers, with Newham and Essex Beagles second and Tipton Harriers third. Swansea Harriers finished in 12th place (well done to them) and Les Croupiers in 36th.
Cardiff probably set one record by including 62 years young Dic Evans in its squad. Alex Donald and Nat Lane organised the team as well as running.
Well done to everyone for keeping the Cardiff flag flying.

Cardiff’s complete results were, in running order:

Mike Johnson (26.36)  2nd.
Chris Moss (14.35)  2nd.
Tom Marshall (28.01)  11th.
Ed Takata (15.46)  13th.
Keith Fairbanks (30.58)  26th.
Steve Sheard (17.49)  32nd.
Peter Ryder (30.14)  33rd.
Andy Friend (16.03)  32nd.
Matthew Collins (28.23)  28th.
Dic Evans (18.52)  32nd.
Nathaniel Lane (30.22)  31st.
Alex Donald (19.17)  32nd.