Phil Cherrett passes baton onto Jo Dilling

Lytchett Relays lit up by BAC stars

Phil Cherrett passes baton onto Jo Dilling
Phil Cherrett passes the baton onto Jo Dilling as they form part of a mixed Bournemouth AC team

This year’s edition of the Lytchett Relays proved extremely popular with Bournemouth AC members with a whole host of them taking part across a wide range of different teams and combinations.

There were those of the Twemlow Anchors persuasion, with the training group featuring some of Dorset’s finest athletes putting out several teams capable of contending.

Then there were two mixed teams of Bournemouth AC traditionalists, organised by Kirsty Drewett. They were looking to pit their wits against 81 other teams made up of members from other clubs in the region and all sorts of others who had got together to give it a go.

It truly was a carnival atmosphere and the team spirit across the board was fantastic to see. No one was in it for themselves. Everyone was going out there and giving their best for each other and for the good of the team – and above all, for fun.

The premise of the event was for teams of five to battle it out with each member completing a 5km lap before passing the baton on to the next designated team member.

The times for each competitor would then be added together to give each team a cumulative time that would decide whereabouts they placed in the final standings. The teams were then split into categories of Mens, Ladies or Mixed.

The team that came out on top included two Bournemouth AC members, with Craig Palmer posting the quickest time of any athlete on the day and Rob McTaggart weighing in the 2nd fastest time overall.

Tag and Craig in the Lytchett Relays
Rob McTaggart and Craig Palmer had storning runs for the “Not Steve & Dave” team

Originally it was Tag who had the course record, getting round in 15:53. He then passed the baton onto Craig who promptly eclipsed that time to finish in a highly impressive 15:47. Their team also had Lee Dempster of Lytchett Manor Striders who ran it in 16:31, Mark Smith of Poole AC who did it in 16:47 and Josh Smith of Poole AC who got round in 17:06.

Craig Palmer in the Lytchett Relays
Craig blitzed it round in a time of 15:47 proving he’s in fantastic form

That gave their team a very impressive combined time of 1:22:04. A team of five Poole AC men took 2nd place overall, featuring Jamie Grose (16:02), Chris Alborough (16:13), Robert Doubleday (16:35), Dave Hicks (17:06) and Barry Miller (17:34).

Rob McTaggart in the Lytchett Relays
Tag was lightening quick in his leg, getting roung in 15:53

Their total time was 1:23:30. A team of five City of Portsmouth men took 3rd place, chalked up a cumulative time of 1:23:46.

Next on the leaderboard it was another team of Twemlow Anchors loyalists including Paul Chapman who posted a time of 18:30, Chris Wood of Wimborne who got round in 16:51 and three Poole AC members, giving them a total combined time of 1:26:07.

Rob McTaggart in action in the Lytchett Relays
It was only a week after Tag secured a stunning new 10,000m PB of 31:29

Steve Way was in the team that finished in 5th place and he completed the course in 17:44. He was joined by Steve Yates of Poole Runners and three more Poole AC members with Steve Cook making it a team of three Steves and messieurs Broadley and Jones giving them the two Daves.

Ant Clark was part of the team that took 6th place and it was good to see him back in action after the illness he contracted at in South Africa at the Comrades Marathon. Ant ran it in 18:49 and was joined by Pat Robbins who completed the course in 17:34.

Pat Robbins in the Lytchett Relays
Pat Robbins ran well to complete his leg in a time of 17:34

Chris O’Brien also competed as part of the Verwood Runners Mens team who came in in 18th place overall. Chris got round in a time of 20:18 with his team securing a cumulative time of 1:45:53.

Phil Cherrett in action at Lytchett Relays
Phil Cherrett is on his way in a run that would turn out to be his fastest ever 5k

The first of the two mixed Bournemouth AC teams finished in 23rd place overall and were the 6th best mixed team. Their team included Phil Cherrett who ran a brilliant 5k PB time of 19:31.

Phil Cherrett in full flow in the Lytchett Relays
It was Phil’s third consecutive sub-20-minute 5k

Simon Hearn also had a superb run, finishing just outside his 5k PB in a time of 19:23. Jo Dilling also posted a very fast leg, getting round in 21:35, with Steve Parsons clocking 23:28 and Katrina White completing her leg in 23:50. That gave them a total combined time of 1:47:47.

Simon Hearn pushes on in the Lytchett Relays
Simon Hearn had an excellent run, posting a time of 19:23
Simon Hearn in the Lytchett Relays
Simon was riding on the crest of a wave after his brilliant recent half marathon PB at Maidenhead
Jo Dilling pushes on in the Lytchett Relays
Jo Dilling ran the 2nd leg for one of the mixed Bournemouth AC teams
Jo Dilling in the Lytchett Relays
Jo ran well to complete her leg in 21:35
Steve Parsons and Mike White in the Lytchett Relays
Steve Parsons and Mike White were both running the third leg for their respective teams
Steve Parsons after the Lytchett Relays
Steve ‘almost’ enjoyed his run
Katrina White in full flow in the Lytchett Relays
Katrina White took up the fourth leg for her team
Katrina White in the Lytchett Relays
A decent run from Katrina saw her get round in 23:50

The other Bournemouth AC mixed team were positioned in 29th place overall and 10th mixed team. They did alright and proved they were up for fight, with Ian White, Sam White, Mike White, Joy Wright and Simon Hunt giving them bite.

Simon Hunt in the Lytchett Relays
Simon Hunt was on the first leg for his BAC team
Joy Wright in action in the Lytchett Relays
Joy Wright was on duty in the second leg for the BAC team
Mike White in the Lytchett Relays
Mike White hits his top gear as he powers along the track
Sam Laws running in the Lytchett Relays
The recently married Sam White took up the fourth leg for the BAC mixed team
Ian White in the Lytchett Relays
Sam’s now husband, Ian White heads down the track in his high-viz BAC t-shirt

Ian got round in 20:56, with Joy coming in at 21:08. Simon Hunt completed his leg in 21:16, with Mike posting a time of 21:18. The runner formerly known as Sam Laws got through her leg in 26:18. The total combined team for the team was 1:50:56.

Joy Wright in the Lytchett Relays
Joy has been reveling in a bit of time off the track over recent weeks
Sam Laws in the Lytchett Relays
Sam was sporting her trademark blue cap
Ian White in action in the Lytchett Relays
Ian races through the field on his way to a sub-21 finish

Finishing just behind the second mixed BAC team were the first placed all-ladies outfit, consisting of five Poole Runners. Gemma Oliver ran two legs for them, finishing in 21:20 and 21:39, with Paul Barker (22:15), Sarah Swift (22:19) and Joanna Westhead (23:25) completing the line up.

Joy Wright powers along in the Lytchett Relays
Joy demonstrates excellent form as she come in to complete her leg in 21:08
Sam Laws in action at the Lytchett Relays
Sam heads down the track on her way to a 26:18 finish

They finished with a cumulative time of 1:50:58 which was good enough to see off competition from a Lytchett Manor Striders ladies team (1:51:59 and Dorset Doddlers female five (1:52:35).

Craig Palmer did fastest lap at Lytchett Relays
Craig picks up his prize for the fastest lap

It was great to see so many different members of the Dorset running community integrating with each other in a competitive but friendly environment, with some even putting aside club rivalry to join forces and work together.

Rob McTaggart did 2nd fastest lap at Lytchett Relays
Tag collects his prize for the second quickest lap of the day

Everyone has their own personal reasons for running. For some it’s just simply to keep fit and stay in shape. For others it might be to improve and progress. Some people just like to be part of a united team and enjoy the camaraderie. One thing we have in common though is that ultimately, we do it for fun, and the Lytchett Relays certainly embody that sentiment.

Winning team at Lytchett Relays
An excellent collective performance from the “Not Steve & Dave” team saw them claim top honors for being the fastest overall team