The first relays of the year had to be moved from their traditional venue a short distance along the Wear to Durham University sports fields at Maiden Castle. The new course was flat and entirely on grass. There were a couple of wet patches and the course generally cut-up as the racing progressed, but it was much warmer than recent days and the rain had stopped before the start – so a pretty decent day for running.
First off were the veteran men where Claremont had two teams entered – one competing as over 45s and the other, featuring Terry Welsh making his first appearance in a Claremont team event, in the over 65s. The golden oldies came away with a silver medal for their efforts, so perhaps Terry will be tempted to race again! Ben Hull and Dave Kear completed the trio and bothe featured in the top 10 times for their age group – Ben 9th and Dave 10th. I think that our other team of David Lydall, John Grimshaw and Richard Slack can also be pleased with a solid all-round performance.
The ladies were up next, with the seniors and vets running together. Claremont had just one team with Mary Martin, Gill Milne and Alice Vialard running as veterans in the over 35 category (with a distinctly higher average age!). Again, solid runs all around. Gill was in the top 10 for her age group and it will be no surprise to anyone to learn that Mary was, once again, the fastest lady over 65 in the field.
The final race was the senior men where two veterans, Howard MacLennan and Duncan Scott, joined the youngster Anthony Liddle. It is hard going against some of those fast lads, but it was another creditable performance. As an aside, the Jarrow & Hebburn ‘A’ team that finished 11th consisted of ex-Claremonter Brendan MacMillan and two current Claremont members in Jonny Evans and Jonathan Gilroy. Well done, lads.