On Saturday was the Northern 12 Stage Relays Its been 15 years since Heaton Harriers last submitted a team for this event. All in all an historic day for the club. This year it was held at Sefton Park, Liverpool. It was an early start being 6.30am meet for bus to Liverpool. Black coffee time!!! Traditionally this is an event for the fastest runners and is held as a prestigious event on the northern athletics calendar. The event obviously consists of 12 legs. 4 long legs, 8 short legs. In real terms, 1 lap or 2 laps of Sefton Park. Each lap per our garmin’s was about 2.4 miles. Legs 1, 3, 5, 7 were the long legs. Sadly this year we were not able to field a ladies team but hopefully next year this will be possible. In the men’s race, this is qualification for the Nationals.
First up was Ian Robinson, setting off at a blistering pace and laid a good foundation for the team. After two laps we were mid field roughly. As the day progressed, it was clear that we were not going to qualify for the nationals but a battle between us and Gosforth soon materialised. Thanks to Mark Banks retro watch monitoring the gap, Heaton dug in and kept Gosforth behind us. Cue some friendly banter on the way back to Newcastle. In no small part to some sterling runs in the middle legs. Each one of the team picked someone off. Danny Routledge did an amazing job bringing the team home. Heaton was spared the back markers joint start at the end by some margin. I know on behalf on the vice captains presents, it was a good day for the club. The lads from Heaton gave there all and did the club proud. The fastest long leg going to Tom Oliphant and the fastest shortest leg going to Mark Bank.
Heaton finished 44th overall in a overall time of 3:51:44.
Awesome day out and the consensus from the lads on the bus, we will enter next year. Hopefully get two teams out. Its an event that should definitely be experienced. Results below:-