Moody stars as Bristol & West men claim battling fourth place

NO medals this time but Bristol & West AC’s senior men can take great pride in claiming fourth place in a hard-fought English 12-Stage Road relay Championships yesterday.

Sizzling short stage: Josh Moody

With southern clubs dominating and taking all the podium places Bristol & West were the best of the rest finishing just over a minute behind bronze medallists Bedford but over a minute ahead of Leeds City in fifth.

Looking at the times every single runner in the 12-strong team did themselves proud; the long stages ranged from Kurt Taylor’s excellent 26:20 – 23rd fastest of the day – to Owain Jones’ solid 27:34, while the short stages were between 15:28 (Josh Moody) and Joe Connors (15:54).

Indeed, Moody’s was the star run of the day for the squad as his time was the fourth fastest putting him amongst some of the best runners in the country which is great kudos for him.

The team flirted with the podium during the course of the four hours race that is regarded as the Blue Riband of the road calendar with its emphasis on strength in depth.

Henry Cochrane put them third on stage four as did Kurt Taylor just after the halfway point. After Felix McGrath’s solid start in 14th on the highly competitive opening stage B&W were never lower than sixth during the afternoon and a strong finish saw the consolidate fourth.

Not to be over-looked the club also did well to finish a B team with Harry Allen posting the fastest short stage (16:24) and Jonathan Thewlis the best long stage (27:37). So the team managers got their selection spot-on!

In the women’s 6-stage event B&W claimed a creditable 12th place which delighted team manager Chris Elson, who had been juggling his squad all week due to Covid problems.

Moving up: Team boss Chris Elson (centre) was delighted with the women’s 12th place

“Even more satisfying (we finished) third Midland team, three up on a fortnight ago (in the Midlands)’” said Elson.

English 12-Stage Road relay Championships, Sutton Park, Birmingham: 1 Tonbridge AC 4:13.11; 2 Highgate Harriers 4:13.24; 3 Bedford & County AC 4:14.25; 4 Bristol & West AC 4:15.31.

        Felix McGrath    (14) 26:41

        Josh Moody       (6) 15:28

        Jack Millar      (6) 26:34

        Henry Cochrane   (3) 15:46

        Owain Jones      (6) 27:34

        William Parkin   (4) 15:40

        Kurt Taylor      (3) 26:20

        Benedict Westhen (4) 15:51

        Daniel Studley   (5) 27:22

        Joe Connors      (5) 15:54

        Ben Robinson     (4) 26:33

        Jack Bancroft    (4) 15:48

31  Bristol & West AC              ‘B’  4:37:02

        Andy Salmon      (43) 28:13
        Billy Cochrane   (43) 17:14
        Peter Bains      (41) 29:14
        Andrew Watt      (36) 16:55
        Richard Elston   (40) 31:10
        Harry Allen      (36) 16:24
        Jonathan Thewlis (33) 27:37
        Adam Wilson      (33) 17:03
        Daniel Shepherd  (32) 29:43
        Graham Donald    (32) 17:25
        Graham Breen     (32) 29:17
        Tom Foxon        (31) 16:47

Fastest: Nick Goolab (Bel) 25:23.

Short: Thomas Keen (Cambridge) 15:10; 4 Josh Moody (B&W) 15:28;

Women’s 6-stage: 1 Salford Harriers 2:14.27; 2 Highgate Harriers 2:18.12; 3 Basingstoke 2:18.55.

12 Bristol & West AC 2:25.29

        Catie O’Donoghue (21) 33:50
        Verity Potts     (21) 21:09
        Natalie Brethert (16) 18:34
        Jessica Mackie   (13) 32:18
        Frances Arnott   (13) 19:27
        Sorrell Walsh    (12) 20:10

Fastest long: Eleanor Bolton (Salford) 29:20; 20th Jessica Mackie (B&W) 32:18.

Short: Gemma Steel (Charnwood) 17:17; 8th Natalie Bretherton (B&W) 18:34;