Blizard’s experience helps Rotherham to relay title

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A quality performance by Rotherham Harriers gave them the Northern Women’s Four Stage Road Relay title at Leigh.

Already Northern Six Stage champions, Rotherham gave another consistent top class display from the time Jade Allen (13:01) put them third on the opening stage behind Jessica Coulson (Stockport) and Mary Wilkinson (Bingley).

The Bingley squad were in the lead after stage two through Jo Buckley with Steph Burns (13:12) moving Rotherham to second.

Annabelle Grady (13:17) moved Rotherham into a healthy lead on stage three leaving the way clear for Jenny Blizard to bring the team home by 10 seconds..

Blizard was the fastest Rotherham runner with 12:50 and it was as well that Rotherham had someone of her experience on the anchor leg as Lauren Howarth (Leigh) stormed through into second place with a stunning time of 12:00, easily the fastest of the race. There were only another two runners faster than Blizard.

To complete a memorable day for Rotherham, their B team finished a superb sixth out of the 54 teams to complete the race. Jessica Fawcett, on the anchor leg was the fastest for Rotherham B who beat all the Yorkshire teams apart from their own A team

Both Rotherham teams run in the National Championships in three weeks time although that event is not certain to go ahead. The Sutton Park venue has been identified as the source of an e-Coli outbreak leading to the cancellation of the Midlands Championships scheduled for the same course at the weekend.