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Lancaster University Running Club got their season off to a great start after claiming victory in the senior men’s team race at the Green Drive 5 mile road race in Lytham St. Annes. They beat off strong competition from a number of clubs from around the county.
Green Drive is an annual 5-mile road race, held in Lytham that doubles as the Lancashire county 5-mile road race championships. The Lancaster team couldn’t compete in the County Championships due to residency rules, but that didn’t stop them from scooping the team prize for the race itself.
The team were hopeful of a strong showing after a third place finish in the same event last year; some good additions to the team coupled with the improvement of existing members proved to be a vital factor in their victory.
The team were led home by Phil Robertson in 7th place (4th of the county championship runners) in a time of 27.46, with Tom Roethenbaugh 30 seconds behind in 9th place. With 2 runners in the top ten, the team were in a strong position and just needed a good performance from the next counter in order to ensure victory, and this is exactly what they got.
Florian Teichmann came 23rd in his first race for the uni in a time of 30.07 to secure what is hopefully, the first of many team prizes for the season. Special mention must go to Ryan Stevenson coming 11 seconds behind in 26th to push back the counting runners from Wesham in order to allow Lancaster to claim first.
There were a number of other creditable performances from the other individuals running on the day. Laura Sullivan was second junior female in her first race for the club, and Claire Reloux also ran well on her debut. Dan Preston was another to have a successful debut, picking up the first junior male prize. James Gaffney, Shaun Mcgrath and Javier Elosua also ran well.
However, the performance of the day arguably belongs to Nick Barton who ran a massive personal best to come in 64th in a time of 33.14. This underlined his continued improvement and illustrated the virtues of training regularly with commitment.
Hopefully there will be more success to come, as the club embarks on a hectic schedule of races over the coming season.