Weekend News Report - 6th/7th April 2019
Top Ten Finish in National Championships
The club men's and women's teams both made top ten positions at the National Road Relay Championships, at Sutton Coldfield on Saturday. The men competed over twelve stages of the Sutton Park course, alternating long stages of 8.66 plus short stages 5.17 kilometres and were the defending champions, whilst the women's race comprised of six stages, two being long and four being short.
Both races saw some of the top clubs in the country fielding strong squads, which was reflected in some fast times. In fact, the men's top three of Leeds, Bristol and Aldershot ran faster than the winning time a year ago.
Max Nicholls (27.07) brought Tonbridge home in 19th after the first leg, before Miles Weatherseed (15.47) moved up six places on the first short lap. Corey De'Ath (26.35) was the fastest long stage runner for the club, coming home in 9th, whilst Cameron Payas (15.56) gained one more place. Nathan Marsh (27.12) ran strongly on stage five, but lost one place, before Dom Brown (15.11) had a superb run to put Tonbridge 5th at the halfway point. His time was the 6th fastest short stage of the day.
Alex Howard (27.11) found himself on a very competitive seventh stage and slipped three places, before Jamie Bryant (15.58) and Ryan Driscoll (26.57) moved up one position each. Kieran Reilly (15.30) ran the tenth fastest short stage of the race, putting Tonbridge fourth after ten legs. However, Henry Pearce (27.58) was unfortunately not at his best and dropped a position, which was then held by Sean Molloy (16.24) on the anchor leg.
The Tonbridge women's team worked hard to stay inside the top ten throughout their race. Nicole Taylor (30.27) came home in 9th and was followed by Chloe Bird (19.13), Kiri Marsh (18.12), Sian Robertson (32.46), Abianne Coates (21.40) and Polly Pitcairn-Knowles (20.33). The top three clubs were Leeds, Herne Hill Harriers and Aldershot.
Videos from the event are available here
On Sunday Tonbridge had twenty-four runners amongst more than two thousand finishers at the Paddock Wood Half Marathon. They were led home in 12th by Michael Ellis who ran 70.35, making his half marathon debut a day after being the travelling reserve for the men's National relay team. Julian Rendall (24th, 72.50) and Matt Dennis (30th, 72.57) were next in, with the latter slicing more than three minutes from his personal best.
Tina Oldershaw (1.28.50) was the first of the Tonbridge women home and won the over 45 age group prize, whilst Nichola Evans ran a three minute personal best of 1.30.29.