Bronze and club record for Vets

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March 31

The Veteran Men from Rugby & Northampton AC celebrated 10 years as a merged club by winning bronze medals at the Midland Masters 6 Stage Road Relay held at Sutton Park in Birmingham.

The race consisted of two long stages covering a distance of 5.4 miles and four short legs of three miles and it was recently crowned M35 British Masters Cross Country Champion Mike Aldridge that ran the opening leg. He stormed round the 5.4 miles to finish in second place and also record the second fastest time of the day in 28 mins 21 secs. Only Gordon Lee of eventual winners Leicester Coritanian AC ran faster (27.29).

Greg Spellman took over for leg two and although he was just returning from injury the 46 year old had a creditable run over three miles to be timed at 17.28 and hold second place. Gary Wallace made a last minute decision to take part after being ill in the week leading up to the race and although he dropped to fourth place his time of 18.11 still kept him to within 15 seconds of third placed Harborough.

Next it was the turn of Stuart Nelson on the long stage and he moved into third early on before chasing down the Tipton runner and going past him to gain back second spot with 28.32, for the third fastest of the day.

Team manager Vince Carroll was the quickest of the 3 mile legs on stage 5 with 17.18, but he wasn’t able to hold off the Tipton athlete and he handed over in third place. It was left to the oldest member of the team Terry Egan to run the anchor leg and his time of 17.31 held their position and after running 38 times at this venue Egan finally won his first Midland Road Relay medal.

Their overall time bettered the previous club record by 40 seconds set by Rugby & District AC 28 years ago.

n In the Womens 6 stage event the Rugby & Northampton Ladies finished in 11th place with three of their athletes closely matched on the day. All stages were over 3 miles and Alison Cooper ran the first leg to come home in 23rd spot with 19.40 before Angela Copson made up four places with 19.52.

Emily Waugh returning just a month after having her tonsils out covered the distance in 19.42 to advance another five places and she was followed by Rachel Shaw who recorded 21.05 to finish in 15th position.

Leg 5 saw Daisy Melville duplicate Cooper’s time of 19.40 and in doing so gained five places to move into the top ten, which left team manager Kate Williams to close off the team with 21.22.

n The Senior Men’s race was contested over the usual 12 stages and the fastest R&N athlete over the long stage was Seb Palmer on leg 4 with 31.04 and of the 3 mile legs Sam Turnell was the quickest with a superb 16.32.

New club President John Gercs recorded 16.57 and Conor Hills had a good run with 17.32.

The other short stage runners were Brian Summers with 18.31, Steve Dixon (18.51), Aaron Lincoln (19.09) and Nathan Smith (19.20).

The 5.4 mile long stages were also covered by Neil Willsher (33.23),Steve Milner (34.58) and John Saw (36.14). The team finished in 27th place.