Sunday 24 September 2017

One day one photo - 24: Southern Road Relays

Years ago, when I took part in running races I was doing events where I would just run individually. The only relay race I recall doing were some cross country ones at a place called Horsenden Hill in Perivale, north-west London. They were traditionally the season opener.

Apart from those, the only other relays I did were sprint relays, i.e. 4 x 100 when I was at school, and then a few triathlon relays.

But it seems that relay races have become quite common now, and I find them fun. I have done the cross country one at Reigate Priory, and a road one in Wimbledon Park. There are relay races also at Nonsuch Park in Sutton, and at Beckenham, plus the Sparrows Den in West Wickham. My favourite ones though, are at Crystal Palace Park - and it's not just because it's round the corner from my home! Earlier in the summer I did the Dino Dash Relays, which is one where they raise money to restore the dinosaurs and the subway in Crystal Palace Park. That usually takes place at mid-summer, so it makes for a pleasant bright evening spent with a lot of local runners, and they keep the cafe open too.

Then today's race was the Southern Road Relays, held at Crystal Palace. That one involved running clubs from all over the south of England. At times like this I feel quite lucky to be able to just rock up at a race which is barely a 10-minute bike ride away, while others would have had to travel all morning to get here. Apparently this event is normally held at Aldershot, but it had to be relocated to Crystal Palace. Aldershot's loss is my gain, as I probably would not have travelled to Aldershot to do it! It was a lovely sunny day, and we ended up having quite a few people spectating and cheering us on - probably just by default of the fact that lots of people walk in the park at the weekends!

Anyway, it was a fun race, though I have no idea where my team finished as I was in the B-team. Our A team got a top 10 placing, which is good for the club spirit.

Note that my club for this event was Serpentine. That is my first claim club, so the default is to run for them, though I race for South London Harriers, my second claim club for the local cross country league races, and other local races where Serpentine don't have representation. It's nice to have that variety, though I do sometimes have a job trying to remember which running vest I should take to which event! Hopefully, I won't make the error of turning up at a Harriers event in my Serpie vest!

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