ATHLETICS: England's happy to help out in City's relay quest

Hannah England competes for Oxford City in the South of England Road Relay Championships Picture: Mark Shearman

Oxford City’s ladies at Milton Keynes. From left: Gemma Bridge, Martha Lloyd, Hannah England, Melissa Hawtin, Lauren Hawtin, Jade Walker

First published in Sport Bicester Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

SOUTH OF ENGLAND ROAD RELAY CHAMPIONSHIPS

HANNAH England provided a star turn for Oxford City in the women’s six-stage event at Milton Keynes.

And having helped her club to fifth place, the former world silver medallist is looking forward to competing in the national championships on April 5.

England, who finished fourth in the 1,500m at last year’s World Championships, made her 2014 debut in somewhat less illustrious surroundings.

“I loved running for the club, I always follow their results and it was great to be able to join the other girls in a club event,” said England.

“I’ve received a lot of support from the coaches and athletes over the years, even though I’ve hardly been around, so I was really glad I was available to compete.

“Looking forward, I am hoping we can get a team together again for the nationals and I can plan for that to be my next race.”

England clocked 18mins 8secs for her 5.053km leg at Milton Keynes, but City’s quickest runner was Melissa Hawtin (17.36) – the ninth fastest on the day.

Jade Walker (20.29), Lauren Hawtin (20.38), Martha Lloyd (20.34) and Gemma Bridge (19.17) completed the line-up as City recorded an overall time of 1hr 56mins 42secs.

Aldershot, Farnham & District were runaway winners in 1.43.31.

England said: “5k is a tough distance for me, but the team aspect means I really push myself and I think it will really help my fitness to do another one.

“My training has been a bit disrupted through illness and injury, but I’m healthy now and looking forward to some hard training before I start my outdoor season.

“Hopefully some of this will be with Melissa, Gemma and Lauren in Birmingham (where the trio are students).

“I am aiming to compete at both the Commonwealth Games and European Championships this summer, which makes for a challenging timetable, but not unachievable.”

Sophie Carter, from Woodstock, helped Belgrave Harriers to a silver medal.

Carter ran the anchor leg and was just able to hold off the challenge of Bedford & County’s Rebecca Murray to take second place.

She clocked 20.30 to see Belgrave home in a time of 1.52.21, with Bedford third in 1.52.31.

City’s second team finished 24th in 2.11.44.

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