Thornley Hall XC Relays – 18th November 2023

by Andy Turnell

We submitted 3 teams for this relay as not many people came forward, so we had 1 senior ladies, 1 masters men and 1 senior men, after a few rearrangements we had our complete teams ready to tackle the not so easy course.

As relays go, I would say this is the toughest you’re going to get with the XC conditions under foot and for someone who wasn’t actually racing this event and only spectating, the mud was unreal and hard to even walk in!!! So before I begin a big well done to all who took part in this relay you all gave your best efforts.

First up was our senior ladies, teams of 3; Joanne Raine, Amy Etherington and Kate Storey. Jo set off really strong with the pack and you could see the ground just slipping from under them, Jo came in 10th place a time of 15:20. Off Amy went tackling the clay-like mud, managing to overtake at least 4 ladies. Unfortunately Amy’s shoe got pulled off by the mud so a quick stop to push it back on and she managed to get up to 6th place coming back in at a time of 16:04 then Kate went chasing the competition, you could see she meant business. Kate managed to get up to 4th place coming back in at a time of 14:43 outstanding racing from you all!!

Master men’s next, teams of 3; Peter Coser, Phil Healey, and the lovely stand in Richard Jones!! Off Peter went with the pack slipping away but keeping it strong. It was a tough field for the masters men, some very strong competition but Peter managed to get an impressive 17:40, next off was Phil tackling the mud, I knew he wasn’t going to be my friend when he got back haha. He looked very strong to say the least coming back in though in a time of 22:27, off Richard went taking on the more trodden up muddiness but that didn’t faze him, coming in at an amazing time of 19:53 ( I don’t think my dad (a.k.a. Phil) and Richard are now talking to me though haha!!) honest it will make you stronger for the road races, promise….Fantastic running from each of you.

Senior men’s next, teams of 4; Andy Simpson, the lovely stand in Ben Auld, Daniel Staples, and Adam Newby. Off Andy went with the pack. No sooner he had gone he was back again coming in at a time of 13:44, off went Ben. This was Ben’s first relay for the club and I feel like I have chucked the poor lad in the deep end as far as XC relays go, this had to be the worst for his first!! But he finished really strong in a time of 18:22, next off was Daniel, this being his 2nd relay for the club. Definitely a bit different from Gosforth a couple of weeks ago that’s for sure but he sped around the course in 14:48, next up was Adam. it’s normally Adam being my support team but the roles were reversed that day and I chucked him in the lads team, everybody who knows Adam knows he only just started getting into the road side of running so this was definitely out of his comfort zone but he pulled it out the bag and he came in looking strong as ever in a respectable time of 21:55. Amazing running by all.

Would just like to so a big thank you to you all, you make the club so proud and I just love the team spirit from everyone….roll on the next one 😊