Ten Minutes and Half a Second: the Tale of Two Relays

by Steven Scott — 27th May 2024.

FVO juniors win the Relay Triple Crown in Burghead FVO juniors win the Relay Triple Crown in Burghead

The Scottish Relay Championships in Morayshire brought FVO a massive amount of success, with seven medals bagged, as the young juniors posted an unprecedented triple crown of British, Scottish and JK titles in a single season. . Esme Finch kept it tight to the front of the first leg, coming back 2nd (13.45) one second off the lead. Matthew Owen extended the lead to two minutes with a middle leg split of 14.18, but then Hannah Inman put the result beyond doubt, taking a further eight minutes out of the field with a closer of 18.17 and a composite time of 46.20.

An added bonus was that the silver medal also went to FVO, with a team comprising of Sophie Edward, Lachlan Carruthers and Finlay Gallagher, all of whom have another year in this class, staying strong in the face of a strong INVOC challenge to take the silver by five seconds (56.24).

The Mens Open team came within half a second of joining the juniors as three-trophy champs,in a nail-biting finish. Alasdair McLeod and Graham Gristwood opened up a 30 second gap at the front for James Hammond to defend. EUOC's Alex Wetherill came in with a late chaarge, and he and James approached the finish from different angles. Although it appeared that James had got the touch, the line judge adjudicated Wetherill to be 0.4 seconds quicker across the line.

The Scottish Relays features a unique handicapping system, with no age classes per-se above junior, and everyone mixed into one big race according to age category points. We won the overall Handicap trophy last year, and our best hope of defending it seemed to be with our +11 team of Roger Goddard, Jason Inman and Will Hensman. The race lead swung back and forth, but Jason was able to hand Will a four minute lead to take into the last leg.

In fairness, Will has missed the entire championship season injured so far, and he did his utmost to hold off MOR's juniors, but they came through at the death to leave our boys 2nd (109.45) and 3rd in the overall handicap standings.

The +8 team of Steve Feltbower, Paul Hammond and Dominic Edward showed strongly at the front of its class, returning in 144.08 for the silver medal. The team was initially awarded the Handicap trophy, before it was spotted that their 3rd leg time had been deducted from their total rather than being added, and they had to reluctantly hand back the silverware.

A +14 team of juniors was also prominent at the front of the race, and Jamie Connor, Esme Kelly and Rebecca Hammond was 2nd in the class (116.28) and also in the junior handicap stakes.

We have the silver in the U44 relay too, with a strong effort from Peter Owen (20.59) moving the team up from 4th to 2nd on the final leg, following good early work from Fraser Cheyne and Eilidh Connor.

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