The fourth, and for many the most eagerly anticipated event of the Burton and District Summer League series took place on Wednesday evening. Hosted by Washlands Women, another sell-out race narrowly survived the weather this year as 92 teams competed against each other over a series of 2-mile legs. The relentless downpour of rain left ankle-deep water on some sections of the course but it didn’t dampen the spirits of the runners.
Tamworth AC went into the event as winners for the previous four years with some very strong competition vying for the win this year.
The Tamworth A-Team of Max Kent, Ben Evans, Dale Langley and Peter Hackett gave everything they had, but were unable to extend the winning streak for a fifth year; finishing in fourth place with a combined time of 47:06. The honours went to South Derbyshire Road Runners who converted a 9 second deficit into a 13 second lead over an exciting final leg battle with the Badgers.
The Youth team gave us a glimpse of what the future holds for Tamworth with James Stretton, brothers Luca and Jesse Bradley and Ben Edwards storming to victory in the Under-17s competition with a time of 50:58; leaving more than 5 minutes between them and Burton AC in second place. Even in the overall standings, the boys took a remarkable 11th place and will no doubt have their sights on even better next year.
Tamworth-B, led out by Team Manager Howard Bush, clocked 53:23 in 16th place. John Jenkins, Keegan Smith and Derek Bolton made up the remainder of the quartet.
The mixed team showcased more of Tamworth’s young talent in the form of Tegan Vickery and Daisy Smith; Tegan seemingly continuing an unfortunate streak of racing in terrible weather. The pair were joined by Howard Bush and Ben Evans who took up what have become their traditional places, making up the numbers by running legs for two of the Tamworth teams. The combined finishing time of 55:10 was enough to secure a place in the top 20.
The Ladies team also did very well with Katherine Bradley, Rebecca Hobbs and Lisa Stretton taking 6th place in the Women’s final standings and crossing the line on 44:29.
The next race in the Burton and District Summer League will be the Gate Gallop at Anker Valley Sports Complex on Sunday 30 June.