Leeds Relays race report
In advance I’d like to apologise to people I haven’t mentioned this article but with so many people running I would be typing for a long time to mention everyone.
This Saturday marked the Leeds University relays in which the Uni and Doss alike provided a great end to the year for the cross-country team. The weekend was made more eventful when Steve Cram graced the relays with his presence. For those of you who missed him he spent most of the morning talking to George Ghandi (the coach of Sebastian Coe), their was clear friction between the two as Ghandi is one of the main reasons why Cram never won an Olympic gold. As if to rub salt into the wound of not winning the Olympics, one man went over to Cram to taunt him about it, but unfortunately went below the belt by even shouting at him “You never won park run, you never won park run” – disgraceful behaviour Greg Hull.
The women’s race commenced at 2.00 with some great expectations for the uni on their home soil. The uni A team was made up by three quality athletes with all three running within 14 seconds of each other. First off was Lucy Crookes who came in in 13th position (12.34), passing on to Rebecca Middleton who gained a phenomenal 8 positions with a time of 12.33. The team was brought home by Jocelyn Payne in 12.20 to make the team finish in 6th place. The team put down their success down to some advice given to them by Greg Hull (what a day he had) “Shoes last twice as long if only worn every other day”
The women’s B team consisted of Amicia Lee who built on her PECO league success to finish 23rd in 13.14. She passed on to veteran Anne-Marie who gained three positions to finish in 14.08. The final leg was Beth Chasty who gained a further three positions to get the team to finish 17th in a time of 13.22.
The mens race started at 2.30 with some high expectations before the race to see how the university team could compete against not only other uni’s but the highly coveted team Powell. The A team got off to a flying start thanks to Elliot Jackson who came home in a frighteningly good 10.24. Jackson put his performance down to some stunning advice from his father as a lad “EMPLOYEES: Only use the loo at work. Not only will you save money on toilet paper, but you’ll also be getting paid” But the real battle was between B team, C team and Team Powell. Matt Crehan from the B team set off with a characteristic aggressive start but was gradually hunted down by C team member Chris Smith and Team Powell member Tom Powell. With 500m to go Smith powered ahead of both athletes to finish in 10.56, with Crehan holding off Powell with a strong last few hundred metres in 11.03 and Tom Powell in 11.07.
In the second legs Elliot Jackson passed on to ex-England international Freddie Slemeck (I say ex as he does not deserve to be picked for England on current form) to finish in a mediocre 10.42. Chris Smith successfully relayed on to Alex Jeffries who built on his victory from the curly wurly relays midweek to finish in 11.39. In the B team Matt Crehan passed on to Alex Bellew who provided a 10.57 leg. Th B team held their lead over Team Powell with Richard Powell running exactly the same time as Bellew, with both runners being trapped in a cat and mouse game against each other.
The third leg for the A team was provided by Jacob Clarke in 10.35 gaining three position to bring the uni up to a incredible 4th place. With the B team comfortably higher placed than the C team it was up to Ben Marriot to pull out the goods – and my goodness he did it with a great leg of 10.36, which begs the question what on earth Slemeck was doing in the A team. Luke Buswell ran a slightly disappointing 11.12. However the guys had problems with his blood so I won’t dig into him so much, due to this problem Luke should probably stay away from driving for the next 100 years.
The fourth final leg for the A team came in yet another sub 11 minute rung with Josh Stone providing the time in 10.57 to bring the team home in 6th. With only a few seconds between the B and C team it was set for a stunning race between Callum Greenwood and Tom Heaword. Tom provided a great run in 11.16 of which he was very pleased, I was also very pleased as he was just behind my time and he was my aim to beat this weekend. Callum was disappointed to only run 11.32, however he’s a fresher and has spent a lot of time visiting various psychologists after being involved in Buswell’s driving. Due to both these performances the C team controversially beat the B team, which made Chris Smith happier than a tornado in a theme park. The C team was 15th and the B 16th.
Overall a fantastic day out for the cross country team. Committee member Philip Chambers said “An amazing race today and cheers to Mick Hill for helping with the mad rush of organising closer to the race than ideally wanted. Unfortunately we missed regular competitor John Cocker who seldom misses a training session, never mind a race”
It is also worth noting some of the beer racing, in teams of 4 some teams managed epic 35 seconds downing times. However the real beer downing mention is still Rob Johnson who maintained his ability to be the only man who times his beer downing speed with a calendar. It is worth noting that if a team of Rob Johnsons attempted to down 4 pints they would finish next Thursday between 3.15pm and 3.45pm.
As its got to the end of the year I thought I’d reward my loyal readers with an official top 10 performance list from the Doss this year. I’d also like to thank Alex Bellew for his invaluable input to this article and should be credited as a co-writer. As a seasoned journalist I feel he has a exiting future of sports journalism ahead of him.
Top 10 races
10) Matthew Lockyer – Edinburgh – A scintillating run from the Pudsey man saw him place 13th in a strong field. Although only the 3rd counter for the Doss that race he deserves a mention due to the hideous facial hair he was sporting that day which must have delivered so much wind resistance/ extra weight its a surprise he finished at all. Narrowly beat Hannah Gornall on this list who equally surprised people at Edinburgh by finishing, however it was not facial hair that slowed her down – it was the presence of her passport!
9) Luke Buswell – Wednesday run – In a gentle Wednesday run, Luke Buswell allegedly opened a gap to the rest of the group on a downhill section by 400m. An unexpected move clearly caught his co-runners off guard as he ended up winning Wednesday run by an unprecedented margin of victory. Buswell clearly brought his A game to the run and has inspired a new generation of athletes with his cunning tactics.
8)Richard/ Robert Powell – Leeds relays – A controversial choice considering neither of these two runners are affiliated with thee university, however two outstanding runs non-the-less. Richard provided a stunning second leg for “Team Powell” – a run which Alex Bellew ended up calling him a “little bastard” for causing a closely run contest between the two. Robert Powell also impressed by finishing around a minute behind both brothers when during the summer would have probably finished a minute behind over 400m (true story).
7) Alex Jeffries – Curly wurly relays – Although in a team with Tom Powell to convincingly win the prime relay event of the year it was Jeffries who ran the longer leg and despite looking absolutely knackered towards the end he managed to hold off Freddie Slemeck in a professional manner.
6)Chris Smith/Mr. Alzheimers – Manchester relays – Smith finished the race in a great time, which cemented his place as one of the universities top runners. Though it is not for his athletic skillage that he is included in this list, it is the fact he managed to pull out this superb run despite being subjected to the horrors of Buswell’s driving/ crashing – an incident that has left him scarred for life. Alzheimers said “When I die I want to go like my grandfather did, peacefully in his sleep – not screaming, like the passengers in his car”
5)Alex Bellew – Edinburgh – A great run from the co-editor of this article, it was immediately decided that this run was worth a mention in the top ten list in a performance that left Bellew so happy he decided to pull out his ‘joy stick’ – then again he does that regardless of how he runs. What is he like!
4) Frederick Slemeck – Slovenia – in his international début in Slovenia captain Slemeck (propelled by new shorts) finished an outstanding position in his first international meet. Slemeck put his performance down to advice given to him from a certain Gregory hull prior to the race “GAMBLERS: For a new gambling opportunity, try sending £50 to yourself by Royal Mail”
3)Jocelyn Payne – Marathon – A stunning performance that deservedly sneaks ahead of Slemecks England Call and also caused her to become the highest ranked U-23 in the UK marathon ratings. Coach Greg Hull quoted “She’s a gal who gets up at six o’clock in the morning regardless of what time it is”
2)James Walsh – European cross – An decent run caused the Leeds city man to finish 15th in the Europeans. Its a slightly tainted victory however, imagine how good he could have been if he took up my offer of coaching him. He obviously didn’t see the massive improvement of Jonathan Brownlee after I took over as lead coach.
1)Tom Powell – Parkrun – In the biggest race of the year an outstanding athlete won an outstanding race. Undoubtedly the best performance by any athlete in the club. Tom’s performance can be summed up in two words “Absolutely flipping brilliant”