Report: Uphill to Wells Relay
Two teams from Avon Valley Runners lined up on the beach at Weston Super Mare for the inaugural Uphill to Wells Relay. Ahead of them were 29-miles of trails following the West Mendip Way.
First off for the AVR Mens team was Darren Wrintmore who settled in with the lead pack as they headed towards the village of Loxton some seven miles away. After a couple of miles the sharp climb of Purn Hill caused the pack to break up with Darren coming home in 5th place. Meanwhile AVR Ladies suffered a delayed start and then further suffered a number of navigational errors as Sarah Jewers reached the first hand-over point at the back of the field.
Leg-2 was the shortest leg of the day at just 3-miles and Carl Davies showed a good turn of speed to gain two positions for the AVR Mens team. Julia Drewitt also ran well to narrow the gap on the teams in front.
The 6.5-miles of Leg-3 saw Doug Barber run his first race for over six months and put in a fantastic performance to take the lead in the race for AVR. Also putting in a fantastic performance was Megan Orrell who started to move through the field in the Ladies race.
Leg-4 was aheavily undulating 3.5-mile route from Black Rock at the top of Cheddar Gorge across to the village of Draycott, Richard Morgetroyd however was unable to hold off the challenge from the Mendip Hash "Motley Crew" and came in second one minute down on the new race leaders. The fortune of the AVR Ladies team continued to improve with a splendid run by Kay Middleton.
Kevin Gover led out on Leg-5 faced with a steep climb out of the village of Draycott and on into Priddy, unfortunately Kevin was unable to narrow the margin on the lead team, but kept sufficiently ahead of the third place team from Mendip Hash House Harriers. Tina Giles ran a good leg to move AVR ladies ahead of their nearest rivals from Hogweed Trotters and Wells City Harriers.
The final leg provided a 5-mile downhill run to the finish line in front of Wells Cathedral, which Stuart MacGregor secured the Men's Open title and second team overall behind the Mixed team of the "Motley Crew". Sue MacGregor led home the AVR Ladies team in 9th position overall and claimed the Ladies team title for the club.