It was an eventful 24 hours – starting the night before when Steve Shaw received a text from Ricky Stevenson saying that he was still in New York!
No panic (well a little)....
According to the info we could amend the team online up to 8pm – but as you might guess the system wouldn’t let us – however Jon Pearse emailed through the details of our new member Nasir Hussain (late of Sheffield Hallamshire AC). On the journey down the Sat Nav sent us round in circles when picking Russ & Elliott up in Leeds meant we were late arriving in Warrington – which required a re hash of the running order
2pm and off went the men with Naz thrown in at the deep end – many teams put one of their better runners if not the best on the first leg, we knew Naz was going to be down the field a bit.
2.05pm and off went the women and Katy Livingston leading – this time our fastest runner on current form – the women only came back to the start/finish at each change over whereas the men did 2 loops so we were able to keep an eye on the progress of our runners – at the and of his first lap Naz seemed to be not too far down the field but by the end of his leg he tired a bit and handed over to Andy Wiles in 52nd place – who set off to claw back some places. In the meantime Katy handed over to Bobbi Phillips in 24th place. At end of his first lap Andy had clearly made up a good few places and by the time he handed over to Mark Shaw had made up 30 places (although we didn’t know that at the time). When Bobbi handed over to Kath Aspin we didn’t know that she had made up 6 places – Mark came round at the end of his first lap of 2 and we realised that he had pulled us up even more but now it was getting easier to count runners places at the change over, so we started counting the 4th leg runners out. First Liverpool, second Salford, third Lincoln Wellington (who actually only finished 13th) fourth Morpeth…….. ninth NEW MARSKE! Things were getting exciting! We then started count out the final leg of the Women – Stockport were in the lead, and Kath Aspin held 18th place handing over to Jess Russon. We started to count the positions of the men’s teams at the end of the first lap of the 4th leg (remember many teams have now been well and truly lapped!) and Russ Best had moved up to 8th place, and by the time he handed over to Alan Piggford he had made it 7th! Meantime the women’s race was finishing and Jess had lifted the team to finish a magnificent 12th. Alan held onto 7th leaving Elliott Jackson to finish the job – Elliott passed one team but lost out to two others and brought the team home in 8th place.
New Markse Harriers had the best combined finish ever with the men finishing 8th (18th 2years ago) and the women 12th (17th 2 years ago).