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UK Athletics

Norwich Union GB team 6th at Chiba Ekiden

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Kate Reed
Reed competing at Bath last February


23 November 2007



The Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland team finished an impressive 6th at today’s Chiba Ekiden Relay in Japan.


On the first stage running a 5km leg, Nick McCormick (Morpeth) finished 8th out of the 15 teams with 14.04. Kate Reed (Bristol & West) ran superbly to clock the fastest 5km second stage in the race with 15.24 – hauling the GB & NI team up to 4th position.


Reed said: “My time wasn’t as fast as I thought it would be, I went through 4km in 12.04 and then we all turned into the wind for the last kilometer, so I just had to work as hard as possible into it. I was ten seconds faster than Japan’s Kayoko Fukushi who was second fastest so that was pleasing.”


Dave Webb (Leeds City) ran solidly on the third leg and was fifth fastest with 29.32 for 10km – dropping down the order by one place to fifth. On the fourth stage Rachel Townend (Winchester) who was a late substitute for Emily Pidgeon was 8th fastest over 5km and kept the team in 5th position. Pidgeon was rested from the race with a sore foot to ensure she is in best shape for next month’s European Cross Country Championships.


Chris Davies (Telford) ran a 10km stint on the 5th stage and his 30.18 was 8th fastest in the field – the GB team now in 6th position within the race. Finally Sophie Morris (Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) took on the rather undulating 7.195km stage to the finish and her 6th fastest run of 24.08 maintained 6th position for the Norwich Union GB and NI team.


Team Manager Spencer Duval said: “I thought the team performed very well under the circumstance – many of them found the jet lag hard to deal with on this trip and hadn’t got back into the rhythm of their running.”


Stephen Hepples (Newham & Essex Beagles) had a solid run in the 5km track race running 14.23.15 to finish 5th.


Chiba Ekiden Team Results:

1 Japan 2:05:54; 2 Kenya 2:07:04; 3 Russia 2:07:58; 4 USA 2:09:03; 5 JUT 2:09.22; 6 Great Britain and NI 2:10.11; 7 Australia 2:11.56; 8 Chiba 2:11.57; 9 Romania 2:12.17; 10 China 2:13.59; 11 Belarus 2:14.32; 12 Poland 2:15.10; 13 Sweden 2:17.14; 14 Italy 2:17.30; 15 Korea 2:23.26


For further details on fastest stages, please visit the Chiba Ekiden report on the IAAF website