AFD Women 6 Stage Champions for 7 year was the highlight of a fantastic weekend
Aldershot, Farnham & District’s senior women won the English 6-stage Road Relay title for the seventh consecutive year on Saturday at Sutton Coldfield. Steph Twell, on leg four, was quickest overall for the two long stages of 5.38 miles. Second quickest overall was Louise Small when, on the opener, she led home Emma Clayton of Leeds City and Worcester’s Jenny Nesbitt who was thirteenth in the under-23s’ race at December’s European cross country championships.
Quickest overall for the four short stages of 3.16 miles was Susan Partridge when she passed AFD’s Katie Bingle on the second leg. This was to be the only spell Leeds had at the front because AFD provided the fastest athletes on the rest of the legs. Lily Partridge soon reversed the positions on the third leg and brought AFD to halfway with an advantage of nearly one and a half minutes. This was more than doubled by Twell despite the North of England champions fielding Claire Duck, runner-up in the National cross country. Bryony Proctor and Tasha Vernon increased the gap to almost five minutes over Leeds at the finish.
AFD were second in the men’s 12-stage event, three quarters of a minute behind Highgate Harriers after more than four and a quarter hours of running. Following legs by Josh Grace and George Gathercole, Jack Rowe promoted AFD to fourth with the best time on leg three. Matt Arnold then hit the front and the club was still in the medal positions at the halfway point after legs by Joe Wade and Jamie Ashton.
AFD had another turn at the front with Gus Cockle, Joe Morwood, Ellis Cross (fastest on the ninth stage) and Ian Bailey. Fastest on the eleventh stage was Andy Maud as he passed Elliot Robinson to take the eventual winners ahead. AFD’s anchorman Adam Clarke set off 29 seconds before third-placed Bristol & West and came home 53 seconds before the Midland champions.
Meanwhile AFD Senior Men and women had their first fixture of the season at Basingstoke which they won convincingly.