SIAB Schools International + Midland Road Relays

29 September 2021

SIAB Schools International

Jess Duncton has had a dream season in 2021 over 80m hurdles, breaking the club record, winning a silver medal at the English Schools Championships and winning a bronze at the England U17 Championships. After such an incredible season it was well deserved when Duncton was picked to compete for England at the SIAB schools Home Counties international. The 2021 edition took place in Bedford with the best schools teams from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales in attendance. Duncton ran a controlled race to come home in an impressive 2nd place, crossing the line in a brilliant 11.49. A huge well done to Duncton on a brilliant season, we are sure there will be plenty more international call ups to come.

Midland Road Relays

Having been cancelled in 2020 it was great to see the return of the Midland Road Relays, an amazing day out that always proves to be one of the most fun events of the year for our endurance squad.

Thanks to our U13G the day got off to an incredible start. Olivia Avery kicked things off running 16:11 to hand over to Maddie Thomson in 15th place. Thomson absolutely flew round the course, overtaking 14 athletes to complete the leg in 14:37, the 2nd quickest U13G time of the day. Thomson’s brilliant run meant that Evie Avery headed out on the final leg in 1st place. Avery dealt with the pressure of being in the lead very well and ran, 16:06, a superb run that secured the team a well deserved 3rd place. 

(Photo: U13Gs bronze medalist, Evie Avery, Marie Thomson and Olivia Avery)

Next up was our U15Bs team consisting of Dominic Martin, Freddie Coombe and Sam Wilson.  Martin ran a determined leg finishing in 13:23, the 7th quickest U15B time of the day. The impressive performance meant Martin handed over to Coombe in 4th place, just 2 seconds outside the medals. Coombe ran well to get inside the top 10 runners on leg 2, his time of 14:33 meant with one leg to go the team sat in 8th, with the four teams ahead firmly in their sights. Wilson ran the 3rd quickest time out of the runners on leg 3, focusing on picking off the athletes ahead, Wilson ran brilliantly to cross the line in 13:40 and bring the team home in a fantastic 4th.

(Photo: The U15Bs team after finishing a brilliant 4th)

Two teams of U15Gs headed to the startline with Georgia Howell leading off the A team and Isobel Burfitt taking leg one for the B team. Both athletes did a great job for their teams with Howell coming home in 8th in 15:28 and Burfitt handing over in 35th in a time of 18:35. Eleon Wightman took on leg two for the A team, running 16:11 for 10th place. Meanwhile Milly Foster had a great run to take the B team inside the top 30. Foster ran 17:16 and finished in 29th. Ellis Wooley brought the A team home, running a controlled leg to cross the line in 15:49 and secure the A team an impressive 7th place. Harriet Smith kept the B team's momentum going, running 16:27 to move the team up to 23rd, meaning both teams finished comfortably within the top 25 teams, a phenomenal achievement by all six athletes. 

(Photo: Our U15Gs celebrate two brilliant team performances)

Cheltenham fielded three senior teams, two womens and one mens. Kaitlyn Sheppard got the womens A team out to a flying start. Sticking with the fast early pace Sheppard ran brilliantly running 15:08, the 7th quickest SW time of the day and handed over to Ella Burfitt in 4th place. Burfitt was in amazing form running the 4th quickest time of all the athletes on leg 2, 15:23. Burfitt’s effort was judged to perfection and pulled the team up into 2nd place. After a less than ideal morning of the race Rachel See managed to pull together a run of 17:08 to keep the team in 3rd place. A tough job now lay ahead for Hillary Mott with many teams saving their quickest athletes for the final leg. Mott ran brilliantly and held her own against a tough field, despite suffering from a cold in the lead up to the race Mott brought the team home in a brilliant 6th. Meanwhile, the B team kicked off with a 19:16 leg for 63rd by Emma Quekett, her first race since 2019. Nicola Knight ran well on leg two to finish in 20:23 and 68th. Clare Hawling’s run of 20:03 jumped the team back up to 61st before Melanie Schofield finished the job with a run of 20:35 to secure 57th place for the B team. 

(Photo: Kaitlyn Sheppard gets the SW team out to a flying start)

Chris Wagstaff got the SM team out of the blocks running well in a strong field. Wagstaff ran 20:09 to pass on to Roger Mullins in 46th. Mullins made the most of the racing opportunity, running a great leg to finish in 21:45 and 58th place. Martin Foster’s controlled effort on leg 3 took the team back up to 50th with a time of 21:05. Leg four saw Elliot Prince move the team into the top 50, 47th, with a time of 22:06. Matt Evans ran well on leg 5, a time of 23:52 meant that the team were in 48th going into the final leg. The final leg was taken on by the ever reliable Andy Gore. Gore used his marathon strength to move his way gradually through the field, his time of 21:30 secured the team 43rd.  

Action Elsewhere

Two Harriers competed in the Bristol Half Marathon, Martin Foster was in fine form knocking 4 minutes off his PB to finish 72nd overall in 1:22.01 and Les Hampton finished in 1:34.16, over a minute quicker than his Cheltenham Half time from earlier this month. 

Paul Barnes and Martin Ford competed in the Angels 10k, a tough undulating road race with incredible views of the Cotswolds. Barnes was an impressive 15th overall in 44:02 and took 2nd place in the M60 age category. Ford also ran well to finish in 41st overall and 1st M75 in a time of 50:49.

George Watson made a dream collegiate debut in America competing for Bradley University in Illinois. Watson competed in an 8km cross country event and won in 24:25.8, the fastest by anyone from Bradley University in the entire 34 year history of the university competing at the event.