National 6 Stage Road Relays, 13/10/12

Cheltenham Harriers claimed their highest ever finish in the National Six Stage Road Relay Championships with an excellent twenty-second place in the event held at Clumber Park near Worksop. Dave Roper took the highly competitive first leg and sensibly held back during the frantic opening mile before picking off places on his second lap to complete the 5.1km leg in 19th place in an impressive time of 15:12. Leg two saw John Parker enjoy his first taste of a national championship action with a pleasing performance of 15:43 to complete his leg in 22nd place. The Harriers third leg saw GB 1500m international James Brewer make a rare road race appearance after his end of track season break. The 25 year old gradually moved through the field before using his finishing speed to claim a further three places in the final 500m straight to bring the Cheltenham team up to 13th position with his 15:19 clocking. Steeplechaser Dan Owen made only his second road race appearance of 2012 on the fourth leg with his time of 16:26 leaving the Harriers in 18th position. The fifth stage saw Jon Barnes toe the line despite having struggled with illness since his impressive sixth place at last weekend’s Gloucestershire Cross Country League. The twenty year old dug deep to run 17:36 and hand over to Andrew van Kints in 26th place. Needing to gain one place on the final leg to improve on the previous Harriers record finish of 26th, the Dutchman ran well to move the team up to 22nd place with a time of 16:35. The Harriers were the only Gloucestershire club to compete at the event and finished as sixth Midlands team behind Notts (6th), Tipton (9th), Bristol (10th), Birchfield (13th) and Coventry (19th). Full Results