Includes Area Cross-Country Relays and TCS Amsterdam Marathon
LAST weekend I attended the South of England crosscountry relays in glorious sunshine on Wormwood Scrubs.
It was a much more positive experience than the road relays and apart from a low-key finish, there was little of note to query.
It was a pleasure to actually see runners hand over in relays by touching hands rather than the modern way of officials setting them off from a different area. That might have been a problem had the numbers been the same as in the road relays as the event, while improving in stature, is still seen by some as missable.
One aspect that puzzled me was the way younger runners set out. Nearly all sprinted as fast as they could on a slight uphill. Instead of being warned by parents or coaches, most were actually encouraged to go faster.
The majority of them were suffering terribly by midrace.
Apart from being an inefficient way to start a race as it is impossible to keep up, it also makes the rest of the race painful and an unpleasant experience and I wonder how many are put off running by the memories of such discomfort and slowing.
It was notable that some of the better coached athletes paced it better and finished stronger.
Steve Smythe,results editor