2024 Spring Midland + National Road Relays

07 April 2024

Cheltenham Harriers fielded two women’s teams at the Midlands Road Relays on Saturday 23rd March on a day that saw a mixture of rain, hail, wind and sunshine. Ellie Balfe ran the first leg of 5.38 miles for Team A in 37:25, with Jo Wilkie following closely behind in 37:48 for the B team. Next up was Sarah Sheppard on a short leg of 3.16 miles (22:21) who gained one place for the team; Clare Hawling for the B teamfinished in 23:24. Kate Alhadeff gained 2 places for Team A finishing in a speedy 36:46 and Mel Scholfield finished the tough long leg in 41:05. Adele Potts gained a place on her leg(22:21) meaning Team A were now in 21st position overall and Angela Pippard gained two places to push the B team up to 30th but sadly Team B was incomplete. Orla Haigh (22:40) gained two places and handed over to Jane Fairbairn to bring Team A home in a superb 15th place out of 45 teams overall, in a speedy time of 20:37.

Two weeks later, the women were back at Sutton Park for the National Road Relays; this time with just the one team. In the gusty wind and warm sunshine, Jane Fairbairn led the team off with a strong run finishing in 35th place (36:37) despite missing the start by a few seconds determined as she was to rescue a bumble bee! She handed over to the speedy Georgia Palmer whose superb run (18:25) moved the team up 11 places to 24th place. Sarah Sheppard ran strongly on leg 3(21:59) improving on her previous time, followed by Kate Alhadeff who ran speedily again to finish 27th in an improved time of 36:19. Ellie Balfe ran really well to finish 25th in a speedy 21:05 and Clare Hawling, a late replacement, ran the final leg (23:37). Overall, the team finished in 27th place out of 36 complete teams. A good result and fun day out for all!


The men sent one team to the Midlands Road Relays on March 23rd and Jamie Bell led the team out with a strong run of 21:28. Jacob Pickering gained 16 places in a speedy 27:30 moving the team up to 24th place.  Harrison Miles gained a further 2 places with his strong run of 29:49 and handed over to George Sheppard who built on this to finish in 22nd place in 31:14. Stewart Merry ran a short leg finishing in 23rd place in 18:53 and this position was maintained by Matt Wagstaff (18:19) and Dan Minors on leg 7 (19:01). Elliot Prince ran well in 18:55 and handed over to Al Raitt who finished in 18:38. Team captain Andy Kaighin ran leg 9 in 20:21 in 27thplace and this was maintained by Rhys Pippard (21:11)leaving Matt Evans to lead the team home in a speedy 18:46. Overall the team finished 27th out of 57 complete teams meaning they had qualified for the National 12 Stage relays in April.

A fortnight later on Saturday 6th April, at the Men’s 12 stage National championship, Harrison Miles led the team off in a strong run of 30:14 to finish in 58th place. He handed over to Steve Bradley on a short leg who finished 63rd in 21:13. Next up was Jamie Bell who ran well to finish 61st (31:22) followed by Joe Chan on leg 4 who was 63rd in 21:19. The third long leg was run by Al Raitt who gained two places to move the team up to 61st (33:47). Kev Spillman built on this by gaining 2 more places to finish in 21:03. George Sheppard ran strongly to finish 57th (32:23). This position was maintained by Phil Turbard who ran 21:17. Pete Boyd travelled down from Sheffield to run leg 9 in 33:15 moving the team up to 56th place and handed over to Elliot Prince who in his eye-catching orange trainers ran a speedy 20:39. Club stalwart Matt Evans gained one place to move the team up to 56th on his long leg (32:14) and he handed over to the team captain Andy Kaighin who led the team home in a speedy 20:56. Overall the team finished 55th out of 56 complete teams.