JIRC Relays

The strength of the North West guys and West Midlands girls shone through to give them victory in the relays competition.

Over what can totally unbiasedly be called the best, most exciting and interestingly planned relay of the year Britains best juniors struggled against each other and the summer bracken to conclude the JIRCs for another year. The courses started through urban parkland, looped back past the assembly and into 'proper' forest for the bulk of the course. An 'interesting' spectator control - an inflatable Incredible Hulk wearing a nope tshirt in the middle of the assembly was followed by final loops through more fast parkland.

It all kicked off with W16s, individual winner Hollie Orr of Scotland was in the leading pack from the start and stayed there until the end. She narrowly pipped Jo Halliday and Elizabeth Britton who were clear of the rest of the field. The second leg was un-gaffled and run by W14s. Scotland marginally increased their lead over West Midlands, Hazel Wright running the fastest leg time. However the leading pack was reduced to a leading pair, as Alison Fryer running for North West was left behind in the forest. So at the changeover to last leg Scotland had a 30 second lead over West Midlands, with the next nearest team, the South West, over 5 minutes behind. Kirsten Strain, running for Scotland was quickly caught by Jess Halliday, but the pair stayed together until the spectator control. After that the easier, faster final section suited Jess more and she stretched her lead to one and a half minutes when she next came into view. So the final results in the girls relay was 1. WMOA, 2. SOA, 3. SWOA. Helen Gardner showed good form in the run up to JWOC with the fastest final leg time, pulling her East Anglian team up several places.

The guys race was a very one-sided affair. First and third on the first leg were North West teams, separated only by the Scottish individual champion Douglas Tullie. However there was a lot more chopping and changing in the guys courses and at the finish it was still North West in first and third, but then it was a different North West team and the filling in the NW sadwich was now East Midlands, pulled up by a superb run by Andy Llewellyn. Fastest M14 was Alistair Jones of the North West which helped them into the top 3. Fastest M18 on last leg was Kyle Heron of Scotland who ran head to head with team mate James Tullie for the whole course.


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