beoc::Relays

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Perran Sands campsite awoke to a very wet and very windy morning on Sunday, all things considered, it was minging. A new assembly area at the base of a very big cross, offered fantastic viewing of the 200 meter run through which was at the very end of every course.
For some reason there are 21 different classes at the British Relays, and the first lot off were the kiddies. Next it was the Mens Premier, 5.8-5.9 kilometers for each of the three legs with an estimated winning time of 40 minutes, thats 6.8 minutes per kilometer. Oli Johnson won the 15km long course in 5.5 m/kms. Ed Nash was first back on the heavily forked courses, he said it was more a case of who was the least crap than who was the best - we presume there were quite a few mistakes made. Ed gave EPOCs strong team a 30s lead over SLOW Ed Catmur, however SLOW didnt have any more good runners so were out of the picture. Murray Strain, EUOC Legend came back in 3rd place, 1 minute down on EPOC and 1:30 mins up on Duncan Archer, CLOK and ShUOCs man of steel, Andy Middleditch. Before the race it looked as though there were only 4 teams in contention - ShUOC, EUOC, EPOC and SYO. Unfortunately the dunes got the better of SYOs 1st team, who came back 14 minutes off the pace on 1st leg.
On second leg Niall Bourke was running for EPOC, bumped up into the first team because he was the only one who managed to finish the Long race. Mark Saunders caught and overtook Niall, running another fantastic middle leg for Edinburgh University, but it was ShUOCs Matt Crane, with a great middle leg, who had the performance of the day, storming round to get the fastest time by 3 minutes, running 5.5 m/kms, terminal velocity on Penhale. Matts superb run sent Oli Johnson off in 1st place for ShUOC. Despite getting lost trying to leave the change over, Oli ran a strong race bringing home Sheffield University into a comfortable 1st place. Mark Nixon set out in 2nd place for Edinburgh, and despite not performing as well as on Saturday he brought Edinburgh home into a comfortable 2nd place, 6 minutes down and 6 minutes clear. Clive Parry set off in 4th place, behind SYO 2. SYO 2 were no match for the newly strengthened EPOC and Clive came back into the bronze position. The technical dunes had really spread out the teams this year, with some top runners having some not top performances. ShUOC 3 took 4th place, SYO 2 5th and CLOK took a great 6th place, with M55 Paul Taylor on anchor leg. Last years Champions FVO took 7th place, the loss of Nick Barrable probably cost them several places. UK Relay League Champions of the past 2 years, OD did not manage to field a team, they ran the Short instead, which they one by over 16 minutes - perhaps they should have been running the premier. The two Sheffield Clubs seem to have selection issues, with finishing order ShUOC1, ShUOC3, SYO2, SYO3, SYO1 ShUOC4, ShUOC2.
In The Womens Premier the mighty South Yorkshire took a massive 16-minute victory, with Jenny Whitehead, Jenny Peel and Helen Winskill. However the fastest leg of the day, by nearly 2 minutes, went to another GBR International, Sarah Rollins for the British Army on first leg. However it was downhill from then on for BAOC who took 4th place. The OD team of Cath Wilson, Lesley Ross and Jess Halliday took second place. Despite a below par 1st leg from Lizzie Adams, Jane Morgan and Christine Currie ran well and pulled the places back for SOC to get 3rd place. CLOK were 5th, missing Hannah Wootton, and SLOW were 6th, missing Heather Monro.

Mens Premier
1 ShUOC Men of Steel
2 EUOC Legends
3 EPOC
4 ShUOC 3
5 SYO 2
6 CLOK

Womens Premier
1 SYO
2 OD
3 SOC
4 BAOC
5 CLOK
6 SLOW

For full results, including the 19 other relays, visit the British Champs Website

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