READING Athletic Club’s women's Over 45s team finished a very creditable sixth at the British Masters Road Relay Championships at Sutton Park, Birmingham, matching the position they secured in 2018.

The forecast rain showers did not materialise, and conditions were nice for racing.

The three-stage relay took place on a challenging undulating 5.1km course, with two long hills to climb in the first half, then a long downhill stretch before a shorter climb to the changeover point.

The team was led off on stage one by Sue Francis, who gave a solid performance (21m 48secs), although 30 seconds slower than in 2018.

She handed over in seventh place to Sarah Urwin-Mann.

She was in fine form, as she gained two places and recorded a time of 20:04 (which was 30 secs faster than her 2018 time, and the sixth fastest individual lap out of 60 runners) to hand over to final stage runner Caroline Stevens in fifth place.

Stevens, who is actually in the W55 age category but stepped down an age group in order to complete the team of three, had a great run and held her own really well to clock 23:46 and bring the team home sixth out of 20 teams in a total time of 1:05:38.

Bristol & West AC (58:17) were convincing winners ahead of Westbury Harriers (1:02:23).