THE 2018 NECAA ROAD RELAY CHAMPIONSHIPS. Saturday 17th February.

The popular staging of the Signals Road Relay Championships rolled into the village of Hetton-Le-Hole. Great conditions for running in. Temperatures un-seasonally warm. Five teams from the club took part. There was plenty of support in and around the venue and out on the course. Every athlete completes the 2.2 mile, two lap course. The first race was a combined senior & vets womens race and the mens V50 race. The starting pistol was fired at noon and 75 teams were off & racing.

Elswick Harriers senior womens team came home in 8th place in 58.39. A fine result indeed. The ladies vet team had a fine run, finishing with a time of 63.14, finishing in 12th place. The gents V50 team had a fine collective team run finishing in 6th place with a combined time of 56.36. Congratulations to NSP, winner of the V50 mens race and to Jarrow & Hebburn senior womens team for taking the womens title. The ladies vet title went to Gateshead Harriers in 55.50. 

Sam Crowe: ‘Steady Away’ – Then: “T-U-R-B-O!”

Above: The 1st race: Senior & Vet ladies race and the mens Vet 50 race. From top to bottom: John Bell, Sam Crowe, Sara Blight, Martin Connelly & Arabella Arnott.

The shortly after 1 pm it was the turn of the senior men and V40 gents. 74 teams took part. As ever competitive at the front with the lead switching between Morpeth, Sunderland, New Marske, Birtley AC & Tyne Bridge in the early legs. It was however the strength and speed of Morpeths A senior team that took the 2018 title. Congratulations to them. The composite senior mens team gave their best and finished with a team time of 91.36, finishing in 66th place. My personal thanks to Mel Reed who came into the team at the last minute – with Mel’s contribution allowing the team to have a ‘complete team and a recognised time & finishing place. Thank you Mel. A special mention to new senior member Simon McEnaney who had a fine first run for the club on leg 6 of the senior mens team. Well ran Simon.

The mens v40 team finished in 24th place overall but a superb collective team effort pushed anchor man Lee within earshot of 3rd place Crook……..and with Lee having yet another superb last leg run, brought the team home is a superb (and hard fought 3rd place).

Three seconds separated Elswick & Crook – It was that close over 77 minutes of competition running.

Below is OUR winning team. Congratulations to a ‘new‘ team of Jason Old, Iain Hardy, Chris Pearce (1st championship medal), Andrew Ball (new member and 1st championship road race!), Mark Turnbull and Lee Bennett. Team time 77.07. May I say a remarkable achievement as Iain, Jason and Mark were all carrying injuries. 

2018 Bronze medallists of the 2018 Signal Road Relay Championships: L to R: Andrew Ball – Mark Turnbull – Jason Old – Lee Bennett – Chris Pearce – Iain Hardy

2018’s race was another example of a well supported race day for local athletics. Well done team Team Elswick, keep it going!  All the results can be found here >  necaa

Lots of  photos of the day and of Elswick athletes in action on page 2 >