Doye leads the way at Southern 6-stage

Woodford sent a single Senior Men’s team to the Southern 6-stage road relays on 23rd September at Aldershot’s Rushmoor Arena. The race provided an opportunity for younger squad members to test themselves in an elite setting, and for all to sharpen up ahead of the cross-country season opener in three weeks time.

Joel Doye was first out and ran 18:54 for the 6km course, to bring us in 33rd. For context, the fastest time by a Woodford man on this course that your correspondent can find was Matt Gunby’s 18:14 from 2008, and his time edges ahead of that of former club stalwarts Daniel Bruynooghe and Hywel Care. It is encouraging to see Joel already in the mix with such names.

Angus Holford followed up with 19:38 losing around 10 places but gaining four to leave us 39th. Angus was pleased to better his own best time on this course, from 2009, by 39 seconds. Nathan Wright conceded he went out too fast, but steadied himself to come in in 20:55, and will be all the better prepared for his Senior Met League debut as a result. Thomas Adolphus’ 19:55 took us up 4 places from 54th to 50th. 800m specialist Peter Caton gamely took on the challenge to build his speed-endurance, running 22:32, and handing over to team manager Simon Beedell, whose 20:38 closed the team in a time of 2:02:36 for the 36km course.

The team’s 61st place, about two-thirds of the way down the field of completed teams, is a sign of fine margins at this level of competition, that the team will be aiming to stay on the right side of later in the season at target races.

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