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Monday, 18 September 2017

2017 National Road Relay Rotorua Sat 30 Sep

Alan Stevens
Team List
Race Preview (ANZ)
Race Preview NZ Herald/Rotorua Edition
Race Preview Dom Post
Race Report (ANZ)
Race Report Dom Post
Race Report NZ Herald/Rotorua Edition

The forthcoming National Road Relay Champs in Rotorua reminds me of the great relay races that we have lost.  There used to be an actual relay season with a lot of choices about which events to do.  
The Wellington to Masterton relay (which started at Post Office Square in the CBD), the Round the Ranges Relay starting and finishing in Palmerston North are just two of the great relay races that have now gone. In fact the only relay left with history is the Takahe to Akaroa relay which every four years becomes the national event. 

Everybody has a story about a relay, either the things that went wrong or the things that went right.  Relays are full of drama and none more so than the 2004 National Road relay at Wakefield in Nelson. 

This event comprised of 7 laps was held on sealed back roads and unsealed forestry roads.  130 teams took part across all grades.

The drama unfolded   when North Habour Bays (Bays Cougars) one of the two favoured teams ran a short first lap by turning too early, mistaking a marker cone as the turn point. 
The turn point was in fact further ahead. 

The result was that a time penalty was imposed on Bays Cougars which lifted the other favoured team, Scottish into first place. Because Cougars ran a short relay and were so far ahead it is hard to know which team would have won if there was no first lap error.  

Both clubs had an intense rivalry at the National Road Relay event over several years but today that seems to have disappeared.

I believe the Cone now forms part of the Scottish club’s collection of treasures purchased or acquired by fair means or foul by Alan Stevens who incidentally can tell a lot of stories about past relays.

There is also a largely untold story about Prime Minister Bill English before he became a politician. Bill was a member of Scottish for a short while last century and came out a couple of times on the Tuesday night club run. He was in a team for the Wellington to Masterton relay but apparently either missed his lap changeover or was late. So when Bill English says that one of his sporting interests includes running then he is not lying. But I doubt if he could beat his son Rory over 800m because that kid was pretty good.

Hamilton Hawks juniors with Jake and Zane Robertson

Scottish juniors. Do you know who they are? 

Scottish B team. Can you name them?
Can you name them?
Bays Cougars A. looking happy despite being relegated to 2nd place

Scottish A. Can you name them?

Dunedin's Ariki club. Can you spot the Olympian?