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Newbury are champions at Ridgeway Relay

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On Sunday, June 20, Newbury Athletic Club competed at the Ridgeway Relay – the A team won the event for the first time in a decade.

The relay started at 7:30 in the morning. The first runners set off from Ivinghoe Beacon, Buckinghamshire, and the final group crossed the finish line in Marlborough, Wiltshire, late in the afternoon..

There were 10 stages totalling 86.5 miles – that's more than three marathons. Newbury AC entered two teams – an A and a B team – in a total field of 37 teams.

Newbury AC with the winners' shield
Newbury AC with the winners' shield

Newbury's Simon Waites finished the first stage – at 11 miles it is also the longest – in fourth place.

Barry Regan was fastest in the third stage and Bernie Gerrard was quickest on the eighth stage as Newbury rose to second overall in the race, behind reigning champions Reading Roadrunners.

Newbury went into the penultimate stage two minutes behind Reading but Andy Ind ran superbly to overhaul the deficit and hand teammate Callum O'Neill a small lead going into the final leg.

O'Neill completed the final 9.4 miles in a blistering 51 minutes to claim the title for Newbury, a comfortable 12 minutes ahead of Reading and almost an hour ahead of third placed Witney.

Callum O'Neill crosses the finish line
Callum O'Neill crosses the finish line

The winning team also comprised Laura Buchanan, Hannah Rees, Steve Barnes, Matthew Green and Ben Bliss.

The Newbury AC B team of Chris Hunt, Eleanor Jordan, Dean Horton, Alexandra Bettley, Phil Marshall, Nigel Cox, Ben Wickens, Mike Sheridan, Martin Walker and Wayne Lillis also put in a fantastic performance to finish 10th overall and the first placed B team.

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