What a battle! Catie digs deep to hold off flying Floren in relay drama

Westbury wonders: (L to R): Hannah Hobbs, Samantha Munday, Katie Hughes and Floren Scrafton

FORGET the battle for the medals the race of the day at the Midland Counties Road Relays was surely the duel between Bristol & West AC and Westbury Harriers in the senior women’s event.

This blog tries not to be overly parochial but really all the excitement at the climax of this race – in which Birchfield won at a canter though Charnwood also only secured second on the final stage – was whether Westbury would catch their city rivals.

As the last stage runners took over Bristol & West’s Catie O’Donogue held a 1min 40secs advantage over Westbury’s Floren Scrafton.

Surely too big a gap even for a runner of Scrafton’s calibre to close?

But O’Donoghue’s confidence would have been dented as former GB international Gemma Steel tore by here on route to lifting Charwnood from fourth to eventual second as Taunton AC were also caught.

With raucous support around the course Scrafton gradually ate into O’Donoghue’s lead and with the Bristol & West runner in her sightline that only sharpened her motivation.

As the pair hit the drag to the finish O’Donoghue dug deep enough to hold off the charging Scrafton to seal fourth place – but by just a tantalising one second.

Not for a medal but just pure pride in performance and team honour.

“Floren clocked the sixth fastest time of the day, which is brilliant,” said Westbury women’s team manager Tamsin Chick.

“Great to see Hannah Hobbs back to form after injury last year, thank you to Sam’s (Samantha Munday) for her first outing for the senior ladies squad in a great time and Katie (Hughes) showing as ever that age doesn’t slow you down, sticking with or in front of people half her age.

“Super proud of you all – well done!”

Senior women:

1   Birchfield Harriers           ‘A’ 1:00:40

 

2   Charnwood A C                 ‘A’ 1:02:40

3   Taunton Ac                         1:03:28

4   Bristol & West Ac            ‘A’ 1:04:34

 

Natalie Griffith (2) 15:19

Hannah Pollak   (4) 16:20

I Talbotprice   (3) 15:49

Catie O’donoghue (4) 17:06

 

 

5   Westbury Harriers                 1:04:35

 

Samantha Munday (25) 17:06

Katie Hughes     (11) 16:12

Hannah Hobbs     (6) 15:50

Floren Scrafton (5) 15:27

 

11   Bristol & West Ac             ‘B’ 1:07:48

 

Rebecca Pierce   (22) 16:54

Katrina Entwistl (10) 16:22

Lucy Wallace     (11) 17:21

Sarah Everitt   (11) 17:11

32   Bristol & West Ac             ‘C’ 1:12:52

 

Julia Belyavin   (26) 17:07

Alice Watson     (29) 18:25

Emma Clarke     (28) 18:52

Louise Cronin   (32) 18:28

 

37   Bitton Road Runners               1:14:23

 

Liz Sanigar     (24) 17:00

Lisa Newing     (23) 17:48

Tabi Collins     (19) 18:37

Helen Clark     (37) 20:58

57   Clevedon Ac                   ‘A’ 1:19:23

 

Laura Croker     (46) 18:14

Helen Ball       (55) 19:56

Sally Richards   (55) 20:53

Donna Davies     (57) 20:20

 

Fastest: Hayley Crruthers (Birch) 14:14. 5th Natalie Griffiths (B&W) 15:19; 9th Floren Scrafton (WH) 15:27; 16th Issy Talbot-Price (B&W) 15:49; 17th Hannah Hobbs (WH) 15:50.