Sutton Park, Sat 20 May 2017
Preston Harriers entered two strong M45 teams in the British Masters road relays at Sutton Park on the outskirts of Birmingham. Competing against the best veteran runners in the country, the A team had hopes of a high placing. Gary Pennington got the team off to a good start, completing the first 3 mile leg in 16:12 for 8th place and Steve Smith maintained that position with a 17:30 clocking on the second leg. Gethin Butler moved Harriers into 4th with 16:09 on the third leg. Running in heavy rain, Rob Affleck now had the task of chasing down the leaders and putting Preston into the medals. He soon moved the team into 3rd place and shortly before the final turn he overtook another runner to go into the silver medal position but just ran out of road for the elusive gold. Preston Harriers were 2nd to Thames Hare & Hounds by just 14 seconds and Affleck’s 15:37 was the second fastest leg of the day. The B team also ran well, with consistent performances from David Watson (17:12), Neil McDonald (17:52), Alan Durney (17:51) and Kevin Hunt (17:18) to come 10th out of 43 complete teams.