British Sprint RelaysLeeds Beckett University
We fielded one team for the British Sprint Relays to keep up our attendance at all major relays this year – thanks to team captain Angela for organising and participating in all of these.
This relatively new event was a precursor to the individual British Sprints and took place at the Headingly campus of Leeds Beckett University, which provided a great venue with the athletics track and infield ideally situated for the arena and change-over and excellent indoor facilities alongside (not to mention the roar of planes descending into Leeds Bradford airport).
There was a good mixture of parkland and university buildings – not the most complex campus area but with lots of controls and clever planning there was plenty of scope for errors. Quite a few mispunched even though control codes were printed alongside control numbers (so no excuse for not checking!) and all classes apart from elite were blessed with the enlarged 1:3,000 map. I did give up trying to read descriptions for most controls to avoid having to unfold the map and relied on checking codes.
Thankfully we (Nick, Angela and Jon) got round safely in a fast and furious Veterans (M/W40+) class and managed to avoid being lapped by the winning team from SYO, finishing 20th out of 32 starters. Teams are three people including at least one woman. With the World Champs coming up in a couple of weeks most of the GBR squad were racing on the elite course, for which there were teams of four (WMMW) and a 1:4,000 map. This took place first to allow spectating while the other classes all went off in quick succession afterwards. Leg times were around 20 minutes so there wasn’t much hanging around. All in all it is an enjoyable format and it deserves to become more popular.
By Nick Green