Tonbridge add road crown to bursting trophy cabinet

Tonbridge add road crown to bursting trophy cabinet

TONBRIDGE Athletic Club’s men added to their reputation as the best distance-running squad in the UK when they claimed the National 12 Stage Road Relay Championship for the first time.

They have already won the National Cross Country Relays and the National Cross Country Championships, and represented Great Britain at the European Club Championships.

The race at Sutton Coldfield is the sternest test of a team’s depth and is regarded as perhaps the most prestigious of all club events.

In total, 69 teams of 12 alternated long stages of 5.38 miles and short laps of 3.17 miles, totalling more than 50 miles.

Ben Cole led the team off on the competitive opening leg and came sixth in 26min 29sec.

Dom Brown took over and moved Tonbridge up into second place with a time of 15.34 over the shorter distance. Charlie Joslin-Allen (27.09) and Jamie Goodge (16.12) continued the progress as Tonbridge took the lead after four stages.

The race developed into a battle with former winners Highgate Harriers, who went into the lead on stage five, George Duggan clocking 27.10.

Ally Kinloch (15.48) closed Highgate’s lead to just a few seconds at the halfway stage, before Max Nicholls produced a storming 26.45 stint to put Tonbridge ahead again.

Jamie Bryant consolidated the lead with a 16.10 lap, before Chris Olley moved Tonbridge almost two minutes clear with 26.29 on stage nine.

Kieran Reilly (15.44) and Ryan Driscoll (27.17) increased the lead still further, allowing Sean Molloy (16.37) to cruise to victory in the anchor leg.

The women’s team was weakened by significant absences, but finished a creditable 22nd out of 54 teams. This race was over six stages, including two long laps, and the team’s splits were Maria Heslop 31.18, Polly Pitcairn-Knowles 21.11, Lucy Thompson 21.44, Alice Wood 37.14, Charlotte Cohen 22.00 and Ellen Pitcairn-Knowles 21.57.

Tonbridge also won their first league meeting of the season as they hosted the Southern Athletics League fixture at Tonbridge School.

The league is for combined men’s and women’s squads and Tonbridge won with 223 points, from Eastbourne Rovers (199), Croydon Harriers (192) and St Albans (159).

Harry Kendall impressed to win the high jump, clearing 2.01m – his first ever time over two metres and just a centimetre short of the club record.

Jack Lennard ran the 100m in 10.8sec to finish second and then came back to win the 200m in 21.9sec, both times being personal bests.

Share this article

Recommended articles


Please enter a search term below.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter