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Newark Athletic Club make appearance at National Road Relays for first time in 40 years

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Newark Athletic Club made its first appearance at the National Road Relays in 40 years, setting a record finish at a challenging course in Sutton Park.

The West Midlands venue has proved to be a kind ground for Newark, who had qualified there in an impressive 18th place in the Midlands road relays three weeks earlier.

The strength in depth developed by Newark over recent years was apparent by the difficulty in selecting the team, despite withdrawals due to illness and the London Marathon the week prior.

Newark’s team at Sutton Park
Newark’s team at Sutton Park

The quality of opposition was clear from the outset, Oli Crampton tasked with the opening leg which saw him in last place for the first section of the race, but finishing strongly to overtake four rivals.

Chris Elmer, making his first appearance on the course, clocked 21-13 followed by the quickest leg in the team which was ran by Jan Bailey in an impressive 19-14, on the course which was just under 6km.

Strong runs from Simon Roberts (20-19) Dan Wheat and Tom Marshall (20-19) followed, all comfortably beating their times from the Midlands Qualifiers.

Newark finished in a very respectable 68th place overall, which was a great result given the standard of other runners in attendance, and that the squad was largely inexperienced.

More is expected to come from coach Bill Taylor and the group in the year ahead.

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