HOLMFIRTH Harriers are celebrating a first-ever medal at men’s national senior level.
The men’s veterans team took silver in the Over 35’s section (M35) at the 21st National Open Masters Road Relay Championships at Sutton Coldfield.
Holmfirth’s success – emulating the ladies’ team achievement in 2005 – came when the M35-39 and M40-49 teams battled it out.
Unable to raise an M40 team, Holmfirth put in an M35 team consisting of two M40s and two M35s.
Sean McCaffrey (M40) ran the first leg coming in ninth in an excellent 16-51 and was followed by Dave Watson (M35) on the second leg.
Watson ran the second-fastest leg of the day for an M35, coming back in 15-00 for the individual silver medal and bringing the team up to second.
He was followed by Chris Beadle (M35), who gave it absolutely everything to drop only one place to third in 17-37, and then Gary Graham (M40) stormed round the last leg in 16-49 to recapture second place and the silver medals.
Earlier, the women and Over 50 men tackled a three-mile undulating course and Holmfirth were again close to the medals.
The W35-44 team just missed out in fourth while the W45-54 team were fifth.
The M50 team, missing three of their fastest runners, ran well to finish 17th of 32 teams, Gary Armitage and Andy Hambleton stepping in at the last minute when illness and injuries hit the original team.
W35-44: Kath Farquhar 17-55; Jacqui France 19-01; Rachael Mellor 19-35; 7 Helen Pettit 20-15.
W45-54: Lesley Ewart 19-47; Karen Sinkinson 20-39; Yvette Arthur 22-04.
M50-59: John Ewart 16-55; Gary Armitage 18-01; Rob Kersey 18-32; Kevin Yewlett 18-41; Ian Moore 19-01; Andy Hambleton 23:21.