Leigh Harriers Ladies reigned supreme in the North of England at Heaton Park on Saturday, winning the senior ladies Northern 6 Stage Road Relays in emphatic style.
With years of near misses having three seconds and a third in the last three years of four and six stage relays, the moment finally arrived when the team proved they are the best senior women’s team in the North of England.
Fifty six teams lined up at Heaton Park to contest the Ladies Championships, run over a testing six stages of three miles on each leg.
Sarah Griffiths took on the responsibility of running the first leg giving the team a good start in 11th place in a time of 18:28; Abigail Howarth put the team in contention on the second leg running a time of 18:24 to finish in fifth place. Louisa Thompson consolidated the team position on leg three in a time of 18:50, still holding fifth place. Dionne Allen made Leigh’s bid for gold with a fantastic fourth leg powering round the course in a time of 17:30 handing over in first place with a 35 seconds lead. Laura Riches increased the lead for the Leigh team with a well-controlled 5th leg run, clocking a time of 17:36 to increase the lead to over a minute. Leigh’s premier distance runner Lauren Howarth took on the responsibility of the all-important last leg storming round in the third fastest time of the day 16:41 to give the Leigh team a convincing win by clear minute in a total time of 1.47:29.
Leigh’s second team were the 2nd B team in the race. Georgina Leck on leg 1 was 13th in 18:36, Angela Allen leg two 14th place 19:43, Danielle Allen leg three 20:08 14th place, Emma Moore fourth leg 22:19 16th place, Ursula Mellor leg 5 24:10 in 23rd place and Eileen Castledine leg six, 24:35 finishing in 25th place
It was an historic day for the club, this season the ladies were first the North West Road Relays, second in the Northern 4 stage road relays, fourth team in the National Cross country championships, Greater Manchester Cross Country Team Champions and Red Rose Cross Country Champion Team and now the Northern six stage Road Relay championships.