Leamington improve on their Midlands display in competition with the big guns

Callum Hanlon rounds the final corner at the National Road Relays at Sutton Park. Picture: racephotos.org.uk
Callum Hanlon rounds the final corner at the National Road Relays at Sutton Park. Picture: racephotos.org.uk

Leamington C&AC’s senior men raised their game to knock 37 seconds off their Midlands Road Relays time at the National Six-Stage Road Relays at Sutton Park last Saturday.

Just two weeks after qualifying on the same course in Sutton Coldfield, Leamington were in exalted company with Central AC’s Andrew Butchart, sixth in the Olympic 5,000m final, posting a super-quick time of 16min 29sec for his 5.847m lap.

However, at the head of the field it was Cardiff AC and Swansea AC who battled it out for top honours, with Cardiff edging home by just three seconds in a time of 1hr 45min 52sec.

Leamington were led off by Callum Hanlon who recorded the fastest time for the club on the day of 19:04, an improvement of 40 seconds on his Midlands time.

It also put him sixth on the club’s all-time record and left Leamington 59th after the first leg.

Former Kenilworth Runners athletes Phil Gould (19:56) and Paul Andrew (20:21) sandwiched late replacement Johnny Brown (21:18) and Jamie Langley ran strongly for 20:25, with junior Dean Mawby clocking 21:39 to bring Leamington home in 74th in 2:02:43.

Leamington also entered a ladies’ team but due to unavailability and late withdrawals were only able to complete the first three stages of 4.315k.

Megan McDonald again led off the team with a strong performance of 17:00 for 58th out of 78 starters.

Zara Blower, racing herself back to form, clocked 17:13 to lift the team nine places, with Laura Gould knocking more than 30 seconds off her Midlands time to come home in 19:38.

The race was won by Aldershot, Farnham & District, who came from behind through Louise Small on the final leg to regain the title they lost to Swansea last year in 58:48.

Leamington C&AC’s junior squads were also in action at Sutton Park, with the under-13 girls’ team producing the most impressive performance.

Mel Gould’s time of 16min 19sec put her 39th of the 70 first-leg runners, with Emily Lovett (16:25) gaining three places on leg two.

Issie Fairhurst then brought them home in 17:30 to place Leamington 37th out of the 56 completed teams.

In the under-13 boys’ event, Jai Sispal ran an impressive first leg of 14:37 (33rd), with Alex Gidney (16:17) and Charlie Parsons (16:11) completing the 41st-placed team.

The under-15 girls - Georgina Hurt (16:46), Larissa Hurt (17:15) and Alice Parsons (17:31) were 55th out of 63 completed teams, while the boys - Will Eadon (15:01), Daniel Chahal (14:50) and Sam Lambert (16:33) - were 45th out of 49.

C&AC’s under-17 men could only field two runners, with Alex Ibbs clocking 13:54 for 52nd before Toby Loveday (15:03) lifted them three places.