Leeds University Cross Country Relays

Leeds City fielded several teams in the Leeds University Cross-Country Relays on Saturday at Bodington playing fields, a venue very familiar to most of our harriers. The men’s A-team won the 4×2 mile event, with Alan Buckley 5th on the first leg, Jon Wills (admittedly, not a member yet but he has been training with us and has pledged to join!) moving up to 2nd (10:16, =8th fastest of the day with Alan) before Chris Birchall (10:41) overhauled Birmingham University and took the lead on leg 3. Sam Bucknall (10:39) completed the job on leg 4, securing a 19s win over Loughborough University. The B team of Ben Dyson (11:20), Leon Foster (11:17), Ben Dyson again (11:41) and, in his return to racing action, Phil Townsend (13:12) finished 26th out of 50 teams.

Demonstrating the close links between the club and Leeds University Cross Country Club, several of our runners turned out for Doss AC, the Uni’s past members’ team. Tim Crossland (11:30) and Leon Foster (11:38) ran for Doss A (11th), Rob Gatenby (14:40) ran for Doss B (32nd) whilst Alan Buckley joined his dad for a second leg (10:47) in Team Roo. Joe Townsend ran leg 1 for Birmingham University, running the joint 3rd fastest time of the day in 9:55 and only just losing out to a resurgent Anthony Whiteman (still Britain’s 5th fastest 1500m runner ever but, bizarrely, only the 2nd fastest man at Bodington on Saturday). Chris Wright ran for Leeds Met B’s 7th placed team, finishing in 11:02.

In the women’s race, Leeds City A finished 7th with Emily Birchall running 12:11 on leg 1, Jess Nixon gaining a place on leg 2 (13:05) before Claire Duck ran her 2nd leg of the day in 12:22. The B team were 22nd, led off by Ruth Wilcox (13:12), with Faye Pinker (15:54) on leg 2 and Rachel Dyson doubling up on leg 3 (13:39). Claire Duck ran the 6th fastest time of the day (11:32) for 4th placed Doss A whilst Katie Parry was 8th fastest (11:45) for 2nd placed Leeds Met A. Rachel Dyson ran 13:07 for her first leg for Doss B, with Jennie Guard anchoring that team in 12:57.