Cross Country: M&S Sandwiches Fuel Strong Performance at Leeds Relays

NUAXC headed to Leeds this week and put in a good showing

Will Brockman
12th December 2021
Image: NUAXC
On Saturday 4th December, a small group from the Newcastle University Athletics and Cross Country club headed south for the annual Leeds Relays.

Fuelled by some boujee M&S sandwiches collected at the Wetherby service station, one of which was described by NUAXC athlete Michael Burgess as ‘the best sandwich he’d ever had’, we arrived in Leeds ready to take on a relatively flat yet water-logged course.

Image: NUAXC

First off was the women’s race, which featured one team from Newcastle. Shona Haston was on first-leg duty and did a stellar job of getting the team off to a good start; her individual time of 12:03 was the 28th fastest overall. Next up was Phoebe Cave, the rower-turned-runner, who managed to avoid Newcastle University Rowing Team’s training weekend of hell by making the trip down to Leeds. This was a win-win situation for both Phoebe and NUAXC as she sustained Shona’s strong start before handing it over to club captain Stephy Puxty. Stephy led by example and brought the team home to finish a commendable 19th.

The women’s race was shortly followed by the men’s race, which featured two teams from Newcastle. Alex Stokes, hyped by the prospect of seeing Bicep live in Manchester that evening, led off for Newcastle A and was hard to miss after smothering his face in blue paint. The M&S Christmas sandwich clearly had some nutritional value as Michael (Burgess) gave Newcastle B a strong start and finished closely behind Alex. Next to go were Harry Shingleton and Chris Robinson who both ran strong legs and made light work of the water-logged course. NUAXC were privileged to have a former National Cross Country champion in James Puxty running next, and he didn’t disappoint, taking over from Harry and running a blinder to finish with an individual lap time of 10:28. Meanwhile, Newcastle B were kept in contention after a strong leg from Jamie Styles. The teams were brought home by Ed Pettitt and Will Brockman to finish 19th and 23rd respectively. A big shoutout to Ed who finished with a very strong individual lap time of 10:36.

Image: NUAXC
Image: NUAXC

All in all, a great race, which was capped off by a curry and some making use of the free massage chairs in the Leeds Beckett sports centre. Huge thanks to club captain Stephy for organising such a class weekend!

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