There is no doubt that athletics and running clubs play a huge part when it comes to an athlete’s experience in the sport. From club volunteers and coaches to teammates and friends, a club unites people and brings them together because of a shared passion. Something which is highlighted year upon year at the Road Relays.
Last weekend, RunTogther HQ headed to the Midland Road Relays to learn a little bit more about the event.
Going for glory
One athlete who was hoping to do her club proud was Western Tempo athlete, Megan Marchant. Megan joined Western Tempo just over a year ago and hasn’t looked back. Since joining the club, Megan has set PBs from 1500m all the way up to 5k and was hoping to carry that positive momentum into the race on Saturday.
From speaking with Megan, it was clear to see that she really enjoyed the event and being part of the team. We asked Megan what the group were hoping for heading into the race:
Enjoying the moment
From an athlete who is no stranger to the Road Relays to one who was taking part in the men’s six stage for the very first time. We caught up with Andrew Parkinson, a member of Royal Sutton Coldfield Athletics Club to find out how he found his first experience of the 5.88km loop:
Not content to just run one lap around Sutton Park, Andrew headed back out onto the course for the sixth leg, this time as a guide runner for his friend and coach Steve Marklew. Andrew became a qualified guide runner back in 2021 and has helped visually impaired athletes on training sessions multiple times. This was, however, his first-time taking part in a competition. We asked Andrew how he found the experience:
After catching up with Andrew, we spoke with Steve Marklew, Lead Endurance Coach for the seniors at Royal Sutton Coldfield Athletics Club to find out how he found the race and what it was like to run with Andrew for the first time in a competitive environment:
Behind the scenes
As is always the case at these mass events, the competition couldn’t take place without the support of the incredible organisers and volunteers who give up their Saturday to make sure the athletes have the best possible experience. We spoke with Steve Tupholme, Midland Counties Road Running Chairman who was helping to organise the six and four stage Relays for the first time. We asked Steve what inspired him to get involved:
Anybody that has been to Sutton Park on Road Relay day knows that there is a real buzz around the event. We asked Steve what, in his opinion, makes this event so unique: