The National 12-stage relay at Sutton Park acted as both the National and Regional championships and so even more medals were up for grabs for the Ronhill sponsored clubs.
Even by AFD high standards Saturday 13th April will rank as outstanding. The Senior ladies went to Sutton park for the National 6 stage road relays quietly determined and the final result was fantastic with AFD “A” team winning in 1hr 37min 56 sec, a time only beaten by AFD last year. AFD A team claimed the National and Southern gold medal. Five minutes after the AFD A squad of Montana Jones, Emily Pidgeon, Stephanie Twell, Alison Greggor, Lillian Partridge and Georgie Bruinval, the B team of Emily Hosker-Thornhill, Rachel Robinson, Laura Gent, Bryony Proctor, Natasha Doel and Louise Small came second in 1hr 46min 03seconds (National and Southern silver medallists). The club also cheered home the C team (Melanie Wood,Ciara Dullaghan, Poppy Daisey May, Susan Shiel Ranking, Naomi Lename, and Ruth Hayes) who came 17th in 1hr 50min 53seconds. Bristol & West senior ladies team ran superbly well to finish in third place behind both AFD teams which meant they were awarded the National bronze and Midland gold medal.
In the Senior Men’s race, Leeds City AC fell short of gold by the narrowest of margins. The Yorkshire club led after leg 10 but were pushed back into 2nd on the leg 11 by Belgrave Harriers. Going onto the 12th and final leg, Belgrave had a lead of 43 seconds, which was challenged by Joe Townsend but in the end proved too great a gap to close. Belgrave hung on by 16 seconds in a time of 4 hrs 12mins 54 seconds. Leeds claimed the National silver and Northern gold medal. Bristol & West finished well in 7th place and were rewarded with the Midland silver medal, 18 seconds ahead of Tipton in 8th and Midland bronze medallists.
Well done to Steve Mitchell of Bristol & West after running the fastest short leg time of the day (14.13) and catapulting his team from 16th to 2nd position on leg two.