6 Stage 6,000M
There were a total of 140 men’s teams represented on the start line at Warrington’s Birchwood Park, out of the 155 teams that had entered.
The first leg surprisingly produced the 2 fastest legs of the day, leader Mark Buckingham, Holmfirth, 18.07, and Andy Heyes, Hallamshire, 18.09 followed by Sale, Vale Royal, Stockport and Leeds. The surprise about leg 1 was Salford’s Tom Cornthwaite running in the B team, came 6th some 11 places and 39 seconds ahead of their A team.
Leg 2 saw Charlie Hudson move Sale into the lead, but the threat of Leeds and Stockport grew as they moved into 2nd and 3rd place. On the 3rd Leg these three remained the top three, but Leeds moved into first place with Stockport 2nd some 12 seconds behind. Was this the classic Leeds move to into the lead, that we have seen so often before , and never let it go.
On the 4 th leg however Stockport’s Andy Davies had not read the script as he overtook Leeds and gave his club a 26 seconds lead of Leeds, last years winners. Leg 5 had no change in the top 7 places but Leeds team manager Simon Deakin could do nothing against Stockport’s Alex O’Gorman who increased the lead to 64 seconds. Patrick Martin had responcibiliy for Stockport’s last leg, with Leeds having Gorden Benson chasing him. However 64 seconds is a long time and with the bends on the course not allowing the Leeds man any early sight of that yellow Stockport vest.
Stockport came home winners by 53 seconds.with Leeds 2nd almost 2 minutes in front of Sale.
The top 2 places had remained unchanged for the last half of the race. Salford Harriers 4th, Liverpool 5 th, Derby 6th, then Salford B 7th.
Is this the start of the Salford Harriers recovery to once again be a power in road running in the north.
|Mark Buckingham Holmfirth
|Andrew Heyes Hallamshire
|Richard Weir Derby
By kind sponsorship of Birchwood Business Park management all the Y.A. team winners got a £50 voucher,
The team members of the senior winning teams got a £20 voucher each and the fastest male and female got an additional £50 Start Fitnes voucher.
Report Ken Smith
Photos Eillen Ingham & Steve Gains, Darkstar