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National Cross Country relays

Saturday 2nd November 2019, Berry Hill Park, Mansfield

The Saucony English Cross Country Relay Championships was held in Berry Hill Park in Mansfield on Saturday 2nd November, on an undulating and spectator-friendly course. Attracting all standards of athlete, from grassroots to the elite, runners get to compete alongside international athletes. Well over 1,200 teams were entered across the 10 races of the day.

There were four teams of junior athletes from Holmfirth Harriers taking part. First to run were the Under 17 women, with the same team that took ninth place at the northern relays two weeks earlier. Olivia Dyson ran the first leg and handed over to Mollie Scaramuzza for the second leg in 26th place. Mollie kept the team in the top 30, with Lydia taking over for the final leg and bringing the team home in a very good 26th place.

The Under 13 boys were next to run, with the team consisting of Jack Sunderland on the first leg, Harry Gilligan on second, and Jamie Stewart running the anchor leg. Consistent performances from all three boys gave them an overall placing of 45th, with Harry and Jamie each gaining five places on Jack’s initial 55th position.

The club had two teams in the Under 15 girls, with the performance of the day going to the A team in this race. Isabel Richardson got them off to a fine start, crossing the line in 10th place and handing over to Elena Inch. Elena kept the team in contention, dropping just two places before handing over to Imogen Wolff, who ran a fantastic third leg to gain six places and an overall team placing of sixth. This was an outstanding result, in a field with 98 complete teams. The B team consisted of Annie McLean, who finished her leg in the top half of runners, followed by Lauren Hirst and Elizabeth Gilligan, who brought the team home in 92nd place.

The Senior women’s event was the penultimate of the day and was held over a 3km course of three legs. In a packed start of 148 runners, Ruby Sykes set off fast for the A team, chased by Julia Jagger on the B team, with Julia eventually taking the lead and finishing in a fantastic 20th place (10:57) with Ruby in 29th (11:10). Lucy Byram took the A team back into the front, picking up 9 places (11:30) and sister Erica a further 6 places on the anchor leg (11:20) to bring the team up to an impressive 14th position amongst stiff competition. The B team did well to finish 35th, with Claire Leaver-Hewitt 30th on leg 2 (12:26) and Helena Croft 35th (13:07) on the final leg

The C team finished 63rd out of 127 complete teams, with Maggie Sykes 73rd (12:53), Julia Thomas 71st (14:26) and Zoe Storr 63rd (14:02).

In the men’s race of 4 x 5km legs Holmfirth were buoyed by the appearance of the top triathlete Mark Buckingham who got the team off to a fantastic start by coming home in 25th (16.49). Chris Law took over on leg 2 and made his way through the field to pick up five places in 20th (17.32). Kai Sunman battled well for 25th (18.16) before handing over to Lewis Byram who had an excellent run to bring the team home in 17th (17.46). Jake Harman also ran in an incomplete team to finish the first leg in 121st (20.35)

Pre-2012 news, results & reports are on the old sites: 2009 to 2011, Pre-2009

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