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Aldershot, Farnham and District AC

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National Road Relays

Mike Neighbour

The closest Aldershot Farnham & District came to victory at the English Road Running Association’s relay championships on Sunday 6th October was in the senior men’s six-stage event where the club took the lead twice before finishing second.  Josh Grace was third, three seconds off the lead, on the opener and handed over to Gus Cockle who took AFD ahead.  Adam Clarke brought them to halfway in second, having been passed by Shaftesbury Barnet’s Liam Dee who clocked the sixth fastest time of the day.  Richard Allen then regained the lead for AFD before Joe Morwood lost it to Cardiff’s Jake Smith who was fifth fastest of the day.  Although Ellis Cross passed Cardiff’s anchorman, he was overtaken by Graham Rush for Leeds City as he came from third with the equal seventh fastest time of the day.

AFD’s under-17 women were second to Salford Harriers in their race.  After Ruby Horton opened for AFD in fourth, Rachel Gillett was passed by Freya Stapleton who was the competition’s fourth fastest overall as she promoted Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers to third.  Pippa Roessler gained the three places necessary for the silver medals by anchoring AFD with the second fastest time overall.  The club’s B team of Alice Garner, Niamh McLoughlin and Emma Boswell came eighth.

The club crossed the line at the end of the senior women’s four-stage contest in third place but was awarded the silver medals because first to finish was Cardiff and the Welsh champions were not eligible for an English title.  The gold medals went instead to Tonbridge ahead of AFD’s Amy Griffiths (ninth fastest overall), Laura Gent, Emily Wicks and Lauren Hall who had all completed their legs in third place.

The club’s u17 men came away from Sutton Coldfield with a set of bronze medals.  Ryan Martin had set off on the anchor in fifth after legs by Harry Hyde and Charlie Wagstaff.  AFD’s Owen Smith led home the athletes on the first leg of the u13 boys’ race with what turned out to be the third fastest time but the club did not have a complete team.