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Ashford AC Dominate the Latest Round of the Road Relays

Article by: David Nash

Posted: 19th Jun 2019 by Lewis Smith

With the latest road relay races being a home match, getting out as many Club runners as possible and doing well was a key objective for Ashford AC, with the teams delivering on the night.

The popular Nice Work Summer Road Relays are a series of five races, on Tuesday nights, around Kent. The Senior Men’s teams comprise of four runners, and the Senior Ladies and Vet Men’s teams comprise of three runners. The Club had multiple teams out which were made up of mixed ages. This blend of youth and experience is one of the reasons why these events are so popular.

Last week’s event at Victoria Park was one of the biggest of the series, with Ashford AC entering eight teams for their home event. Each runner completed two laps of Victoria Park (4km) and although mainly flat, the challenge was the many twists and turns around the course.

With four teams coming home in first place in their respective categories, together with a second, fourth, fifth and ninth place, Ashford AC dominated the evening.

All eyes were on the experienced men’s and women’s A-string teams. In the women's race, Briony Walsh gave the team a great start, weaving her way through a crowded start and managing to build up a good lead. Teenager Elisha Roger, making her event debut, consolidated the lead before handing the baton to anchor leg runner, Gemma Carter-Collins, who ran the fastest leg and gradually increased the lead to four minutes over Folkestone Running Club.

In the men's race, Ashford AC’s A-string team were made up of four teenagers, and they certainly excelled. Marshall Smith, 19, drew on his experience to negotiate a busy and congested start to lead the field before passing to Oliver Prior, 18, who retained the lead, despite being under pressure from an Invicta East Kent runner. Next up was fifteen year old, England Schools’ international, Louis Small, who extended the lead, setting things up nicely for final leg runner Adam Wood, 17, who crossed the finish line thirty seconds ahead of second place Invicta East Kent AC.

Men’s A-Team Runners: Marshall Smith, Oliver Prior, Louis Small and Adam Wood (1st Place).

Women’s A-Team Runners: Briony Walsh, Elisha Roger and Gemma Carter-Collins (1st Place).

Other Men’s Team Runners: Nick Collins, Jack Small, James Wilton, Harrison Tremain, Matt Flay Tom Wilton, Liam Woodham, Tom Green, Sahil Sood, Ronan Donohue, Matt Hogben, David Winston and Kristian Samwell-Nash (1st, 2nd and 9th Place).

Other Women’s Team Runners: Anna Hinson, Ciara Mackey, Jenny Wilton, Nikki Buckman, Jess Wilton and Chloe Green (1st and 4th Place).

Veteran-50 Men’s Team: Gerard O'Sullivan, Kevin Tutt and Andrew Huxley (5th Place).

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