Cleveland way relay 2017 report

Cleveland Way Relay 2017 Report
Different from last year, when I reported that there was nothing new to report, there were various novelties to report this year! A start with a splash, courtesy of high tide at Filey, one team turned their event into a Sash Ekiden, a new record turnout with 16 teams participating, a team with only 5 runners and since we all enjoyed the day so much, we dragged it out longer than ever before. For the first time in all my years as organiser, the winning team did not break 14 hours… There were however a few sights that we were used to. Starting with the back of the Loftus A runner, that's all we ever seem to see of them! I saw him making the first splash at the very beginning, then I never saw him again. It took a quick drive in the car to Whitby to get ahead and find out that not much was new. Loftus A for once chased by the new Esk Valley team. Then other teams kept trickling in. Unfortunately, I had to move on earlier than intended as the parking warden in Whitby made an early appearance. Another novelty I learned later, parking wardens out in force on Sunday morning, and in addition to the usual complaints, we added a few parking fines at Runswick Bay. Sorry guys, but you need to obey the law, regardless how hard you get dragged into the excitement of the relay! First indication that we were in for a long day appeared at Clay Bank. The mass start took place on time at 2PM. But then it took longer than ever for Loftus A to turn up. 7 minutes longer than last year, and more than ½ hour longer than the year before. Other teams seemed to perform similarly. When I left Clay Bank at 5PM, only half the team had already arrived, including the 2 teams that arrived just as I was about to leave. Never mind, I took the sign and assumed that the winning team would be late arriving at Helmsley as well, so plenty time for an early Fish&Chip. First finishers normally arrive around 17:50, this year it was 18:18, in line with the days theme. But eventually, all teams made it into Helmsley, to the finish and the well earned Fish& Chip. Loftus A received the trophy for the fastest A Team, Loftus B received the trophy for the fastest B Team. It was a nice day once again, and in the usual fashion, nobody listened to my advice of last year to bring the speed merchants. But so what, maybe next year.. 23rd June 2018, put the date into your calendars! See you all again then!
Martin Dietrich