London Civil Service Men and Women Win Team Silver at the Bridges Plus It's Gold for Mike Cummings.

On the evening of Tuesday 25th June the London Civil Service were once again prominent in the annual London Business Houses Bridges Relays with both the Civil Service men's and women's "A" teams winning team silver. Mike Cummings produced the fastest leg by an LBH entrant to win an individual gold medal.

The Civil Service men had a stiff task to retain their LBH Bridges Relay title without Chris Smith in their line up but they put up a sterling performance in an valiant attempt to try and hang onto the title. Mike Cummings ran the opening leg for the Civil Service Men's "A" team and clocked the fastest leg of the night by a London Business Houses entrant (4th overall) with 11:38. Nic Gould ran the 2nd leg in a very swift 12:33 and handed over to Crispin Allen who produced a fine run of 13:03 keeping the team in first place out of the LBH teams. Richard Hall took over on the anchor and put in a good effort with 13:44 but it wasn't quite good enough as he was closed down on the long run for home and overtaken by the anchor man from Barclays. The team finished 2nd out of 61 LBH teams and 4th overall out of 103 teams in the open category. 

The Civil Service Women's "A" team was backloaded with each runner improving on the previous runner’s time. Maureen Noel led the Civil Service women off with 16:19 and handed over to Jenny Thomas who ran 16:07. Ellie Cox (15.34) took over on the anchor leg to bring the team home to team silver in 48:00 behind the Metropolitan Police Women's "A" team who were the 1st LBH team in 46:58.

There was a tremendous battle on for team bronze between our women's "B" team and Nationwide. Maggie Statham had kicked off the first leg with 17:23 and handed over to Ilona Bagi who produced a run of 15:27 which substantially reduced the Nationwide advantage from 2:20 to 60 seconds. Natalie Street set off on the anchor leg and also dramatically reduced the Nationwide lead still further clocking 16:38. However, Natalie couldn't quite close in time as the Nationwide anchor runner was saved by the line hanging on from Natalie by just 3 seconds!

In the open category we had a mixed team that performed well holding their own and showing good promise for the future. They were the Civil Service "C" team and finished as the 35th LBH team from 61 teams and were placed 64th overall from a field of 103. Bilal Evans opened for the "C" team clocking 16:48, Saskia Bradbury backed that time up well with 16:41. Matthew Bollington put in a useful 15:25 before Charlotte Seymour took over on the final leg to bring them home with a run of 16:52 which saw them close in 1:05:46.

Unfortunately, due to withdrawals I had decided to reorganise the Civil Service teams running orders which resulted in there being no Civil Service "B" team in the open category. That is apart from me (John O'Shea). However, as I'd handed out all the Civil Service race numbers with 3 minutes to spare before Big Ben struck 7 O'clock I decided to run and joined the first leg runners all 136 of them and run as a solo for the "B" team clocking 13:45.

The evening saw both the men's and women's course records fall. Shaun Dixon of Highgate Harriers set a new course best with 11:12 and Stacey Ward representing KPMG clocked 12:35 to set a new women's course record.

Congratulations to Katie Meredith for running the 3rd fastest leg of the evening out of 123 women with a tremendous leg of 13:35 for Highgate Harriers for which she is the women's road relay team manager. Katie had previously led the Civil Service women to team gold in 2010 when she teamed up with Claire Day and Caroline Tuck. Katie's husband Stephen Meredith is also a civil servant and on my Civil Service London Area circulation list but was representing Highgate Harriers and put in a useful leg of 14:17.  

Thank you to everyone's efforts on Tuesday. The Bridges Relays are always good fun and there's always a good friendly atmosphere as team mates and supporters cheer each other on particularly from the spectators’ gallery along the back wall of St. Thomas' Hospital. There was a bumper entry in 2012 with 136 teams entered. 356 men took part and 123 women. Well done to all of you.

See attached for full results. I have also attached the "All Time" course records. Stephanie Robson is listed back in 2003 with a fastest leg of 13:22 as is Chris Smith from last year with 11:24. The Civil Service women's winning team from 2009 are listed but not the individuals, just for the record they were Diana Kennedy (14.24), Stephanie Robson (13.56) and Liz Stavreski (14.09). Liz was looking forward to running in this year's Bridges Relays but was knocked off her bicycle some weeks ago by a driver as isn't as yet ready run. We all wish you well Liz and look forward to seeing you back competing in the near future.

Results                      Records

LBH PRIZES                             
1st LBH OPEN    Barclays        Barclays A      0:50:45
2nd LBH OPEN    Civil Service   Civil Service A 0:50:58
3rd LBH OPEN    Nationwide      Nationwide A    0:51:58
1st LBH LADIES  Met Police AC   Met Police Ladies 1     0:46:58
2nd LBH LADIES  Civil Service   Civil Service Ladies A  0:48:00
3rd LBH LADIES  Nationwide      Nationwide Ladies       0:49:25
1st LBH MAN     Civil Service   Mike Cummings   11:38.0
2nd LBH MAN     Capco   Andy Greenleaf  11:41.0
3rd LBH MAN     Barclays        Andrew Lawrence 11:53.0
1st LBH LADY    JP Morgan       Deya Rivera Luna        14:28.0
2nd LBH LADY    British Airways Vicky Edwards   14:39.0
3rd LBH LADY    Standard Chartered Bank Victoria Mallinson      14:57.0

NON LBH PRIZES                         
FASTEST OPEN TEAM       Highgate Harriers       Highgate Harriers B     0:48:06
FASTEST LADIES TEAM     Highgate Harriers       Highgate Ladies 1       0:40:46
FASTEST MAN     Highgate B      Shaun Dixon     11:12.0
2nd FASTEST MAN Highgate D      Ben Noad        11:14.0
3rd FASTEST MAN Highgate B      Danny Russell   11:31.0
4th FASTEST MAN Highgate A      Ben Pochee      11:40.0
FASTEST LADY    KPMG Ladies     Stacey Ward     12:35.0
2nd FASTEST WOMAN       Highgate Ladies 1       Esther Evans    13:25.0
3rd FASTEST WOMAN       Highgate Ladies 1       Katie Meredith  13:35.0
4th FASTEST WOMAN       Highgate Ladies 1       Vicky Frew      13:46.0

John O'Shea
Acting Team Manager
London Civil Service Athletics Team



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