After a taking 4th place on debut at the 2014 MK Marathon Corporate Relay Team Jemmac returned in 2015 bidding for glory in the MK Marathon Relay.
With 2014 team member Al running the full marathon on his own, Ali C was drafted in to take his place. The full team this year being Greg (Leg 1), Ali C (Leg 2), James S (Leg 3 & Team Captain) and James C (Leg 4).
In addition James W returned as the support crew (sporting provisions provided by wife Emma) and Matt once again acted as course spotter and chief on course motivator!
After arriving at Stadium MK for the pre-race briefing it soon became clear that the competition was going to be much fiercer this year as the relay was no longer restricted to Corporate entries. With over 40 teams taking the start line – including a number of local running club teams – the aim of challenging for the top step of the podium was quickly re calibrated to a still ambitious top 10 finish!
The format of the race was 4 legs, each approximately 10K (6.1 miles) and following the full Marathon course with the baton being passed from runner to runner in special designated relay changeover points.
As per 2014 Greg kicked things off at StadiumMK, elbowing his way to the front as the relay was based on gun and not chip time so it was important to cross the line as soon as possible!
The rest of team jumped back on board the team transporter and headed to the first handover spot. Here the calibre of the competition was revealed; with Greg handing the baton over in 8th place despite running at an impressive average pace of 7:38 mins per mile – a personal best for 10K!!
Newcomer Ali then managed to claw back 4 places during leg 2, avoiding the pitfalls that derailed the team last year along the way and finishing his stint in a fantastic 4th place having recorded a personal best at an average pace of 7:32 mins per mile.
So things were looking good. The team was speeding up and fastest runner James S was off like a bullet at the start of the third leg…
Could Team Jemmac do the unthinkable and upset the odds, taking a podium despite the increased level of competition from running clubs sporting hardened athletes?
A tense wait at the third changeover point saw James S handing over with the team now in 5th place, despite recording the fastest average time for the team on the longest leg – a little over 7 miles! Clearly the opposition were cheating, employing natural athletes with massive strides weighing less than a postage stamp – how very unsporting of them!
It was then over to James C to carry team pride (and the baton) back to the finish in StadiumMK – crossing the line in 6th place despite having recorded (you guessed it!) yet another personal best along the way.
The total time for the team around the full 26.2 miles was 3h:17m:14s a result that would have netted them top spot by a cool 20 minutes in 2014! Well done all. But it was not to be this year with the first team home recording a faintly unbelievable time of 2h:49m:50s, bettering our brave lads by around 40 seconds per Km.
Despite that the team were in high spirits, enjoying a celebratory and well deserved cold beer before returning to the finish line to cheer home Al as he completed the full 26.2 miles on his own in a very impressive time of 4:37:10. Nicely done sir!
Overall an excellent result, with a number of personal bests to boot. The total money raised for charity by Team Jemmac and Al combined was nearly £650, which will now be doubled to in excess of £1,300 by chief sponsors Jemmac Software.
Well done all, roll on 2016 … and look out running clubs, we are coming to get you!
Ali C and Greg