National 12 Stage – Race Report

James Dunce discovers the secret of success.


National 12-stage Road Relays: Sutton Park, Birmingham. Saturday 11th April 2015


It was with a heavy heart that I arrived at East End Pool to find that the rumours were true. The bus service that had previously ferried us about the country had been ditched. Not to worry, however, as the new vehicle had blue lights and automatic doors. We all looked liked avatars inside that bus, tinged with a pearlescent  blue hue. Who was controlling us, we will never know! I’m guessing some omnipotent lemming overlord.

It was a fine day in Birmingham, fantastic for wandering around the park. It was not a day for fun and games, however. On that day we were to lay our bodies on the line: lungs, hearts, blood, sweat, tears and all. The team might not have been what it could have been, but we had an excellent chance to show what we were made of and of course experience a National event in which the calibre of athlete was both staggering and humbling!

As I ran the first leg, I had a lot of time to kill. I therefore took out my mobile phone and had a go at a bit of photography. I think I really captured a sense of speed with these images and you might appreciate the artistic approach I have taken. If any team mates would like a photo to use as a Facebook profile picture, I would be more than happy to share.

Montage of runners.

Montage of runners.

Having taken a closer look at our line up, it did seem that with the right amount of effort the team could come close to performing as well as we had the previous year. That prediction turned out to be correct, finishing a fantastic 40th position, as opposed to 33rd last year. Happy days! I am also incredibly proud, even more so currently, to be part of TBH as we have been invited to the European 12-stage Road Relays in Prague later this year. What an honour!

Oh and by the way, if you are looking to improve your nutrition, look no further than Greggs. I bumped into Richard Morrell and Ian Hudspith in the Greggs at Wetherby services. Richard ordered a sausage roll and a baked bean, sausage and cheese melt and they just won the Nationals. Greggs is the power, Greggs is the key. Greggs is the only thing fuelling me.


(note: other food outlets are available – DD)


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  1. terrific report James. It’s nothing but pasties and iced fingers for me from now on haha!!

    • Si on 15th April 2015 at 11:15
    • Reply

    “Omnipotent lemming overlord”?! Genius report Jimmy D! Congats to all the guys representing TBH, you did us all proud. Re: European Championships… are there spar seats for. errmm, support crew?! ;)

    • Terry on 15th April 2015 at 12:57
    • Reply

    Haha. Class review JD. I feel great that I’ve already embraced the power of Greggs. Cheese pastie and tuna crunch for me

    • Ian on 15th April 2015 at 17:04
    • Reply

    Great report James! Very entertaining. Well done to everyone who ran as well.

    • Paul on 15th April 2015 at 17:30
    • Reply

    Nice report & pics. Bus will be leaving 6.30am from Byker Pool on Saturday 23rd May to Newcastle Airport for the booked Jet to Prague, for the European 12 stage. Cheers Paul.

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