Northern Athletics 6-Stage Road Relay
Silksworth Sports Centre, Sunderland on Saturday. 2nd April 2016

Despite a dull, wet day, the superb organisation from Sunderland Harriers, led by Kevin Carr, shone through on the day.

The women started 5 minutes after the men, but the whole race was dominated by 2 clubs and 2 athletes. Rotherham Harriers led for the first 3 legs and were 2nd for the final 3 legs. Leeds City were 2nd for the first 3 legs, moving into 1st place for the final 3 stages.

On leg 4, the experienced Jenny Blizard ran 23.49, 10th fastest on the day, but was eclipsed by an outstanding run from Leeds City’s Claire Duck, whose 22.01 was the fastest long leg of the day.

The only other 2 clubs to be in the top 3 were Birtley on leg 2 and Morpeth Harriers, who reached 3rd on leg 3 and were never displaced from this position. Josie Cram brought Morpeth in 8th on leg 2, handing over to the in-form Laura Weightman. Laura lifted Morpeth into 3rd place, with the fastest short leg of the day, an incredible 11.07. This time was almost 1 minute faster than the 2nd fastest short leg on the day. Confirmation was sought from her coach, the well-known Steve Cram, who did see the funny side of this! In 2 weeks time, Laura pits herself against the other top ladies in England in the National 6-Stage at Sutton Park.

Morpeth Harriers were anchored home by the experienced Sarah Wilkinson, equal 5th fastest short leg on the day.

Birtley AC, whose lowest position was 7th, finished a credible 4th, with Jarrow & Hebburn, 5th, Salford Harriers 6th.

1: Leeds City AC 1.35.41
2. Rotherham Harriers 1.37.12
3. Morpeth Harriers 1.37.47

Fastest Short Legs: 1st Laura Weightman, Morpeth Harriers,11.07. 2nd Georgia Malir, Leeds City 12.03

Fastest Long Legs: 1st Claire Duck, Leeds City, 22.01. 2nd Samantha Johnson, Rotherham, 22.11

Report Ken Smith
Photos Eileen Ingham