MARK APPLETON began the Bromsgrove & Redditch Athletic Club challenge with a 64th-placed finish (31.15) at the English Road Running Association National Spring Road Relays at Sutton Park in Birmingham.
The men’s event was run over 12 stages and the women’s over six as 69 of the best teams from around the country competed, albeit with some of the top clubs without their star names due to the Commonwealth Games.
However, there was disappointment among many at the organisation of the men’s event – featuring six long legs of 5.38km and six shorter legs of 3.16km – prompting a statement from ERRA chairman Mike Neighbour.
The statement on the ERRA website reads: “The officers of the ERRA offer an unreserved apology to all the competitors in the senior men’s 12-stage road relays at Sutton Park on Saturday.
“We failed to provide a race which came up to the standard required. We will naturally be reviewing and instigating changes to ensure the mass start is organised so that it does not ruin the race.
“We will be considering changes at our July committee meeting and would welcome input from team managers and competitors.”
Other B&R results: 65th Andrew Freeman, 19.14; 65th Peter Ball, 32.06; 65th Matthew Henney, 21.11; 65th Kevin Lanckham, 34.31; 62nd Calvin Scoltock, 18.57; 61st Patrick Mackie, 33.56; 59th Ian Keyte, 19.44; 59th Robert Mole, 32.11; 58th Anthony Howell, 19.55; 58th James Hood, 31.21; 55th Gareth Richardson, 18.11. The B&R team finished in 5.12.32.
Redditch athlete Joe Smith, representing Tipton Harriers, completed leg one in 27.49 to finish in 26th place and help his team to 14th position in 4.29.33 overall.
There were no B&R ladies or juniors in action. The track season is fast approaching, with the first track and field league meeting on May 6 at Stourport.