Tomorrow morning SA’s current best distance runners will meet on War Memorial Drive, North Adelaide for what appears to be the largest depth of athletes in many years to compete in the 2018 Running SA Ekiden Relays.
The ‘A’ team lineups from various clubs feature many top ranked SA and Australian athletes and several Australian representatives.
The Ekiden Relay is a mixed gender 6 person relay that covers the Marathon Distance. The premier teams are required to have at least 2 females within their team. The relay legs are as follows: 6.195k, 4k, 10k, 8k, 6k, 8k to total 42.195k on a 2km circuit.
The first 6.195km leg will feature a close battle between one of Australia’s best Junior triathletes in Sam Tierney (Adelaide Harriers) and 2014 Fitzy’s 5 winner Andy Axford (Hills Districts). They may be rivaled by National 1500m and 800m finalist, Dylan Stenson, who will look to lead his Saints team over the first change.
World Uni Cross Country representative, Caitlin Adams (Hills Districts), will take charge of the 4km leg and may open a considerable lead, while Aleesha Robertson (Adelaide Harriers) and Fern Davies (Flinders) will look to bring their team within striking distance.
Adrian Potter (Adelaide Harriers), Max Stevens (Hills Districts) and Jacob Cocks (Flinders) will feature in the Ekiden’s most crucial battles of the day, with the 10km leg being a quarter of the total marathon relay distance. Potter is the 2016 and 2017 State 10k Road Champion and he’ll be rivaled by two time Fitzys 5 winner and National Steeple Silver medalist in Stevens. Cocks is SA’s best City-Bay runner in 2016, however he may have his work cut out early to catch the leading clubs.
Bryn Nicholls (Adelaide Harriers) is the oldest athlete to line up in the top A teams. The 10,000m State champion and O35 athlete has proved he can match the pace on the road, track and cross country and you can expect him to run one of the fastest 8km legs of the day. At this stage of the relay 2015 Fitzy’s 5 Winner William McCann will either be chasing a gap to Nicholls or holding the lead for Hills Districts AC.
For the first time in many years, 2 time Olympian Jessica Trengove will take on the Ekiden Relays in her Hills Districts colours. Having recovered well from her bronze medal winning performance in the Marathon at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Trengove will look to lead her team during the penultimate 6km leg and attempt to handover in a favorable position. Adelaide Harriers will cheer on 2016 SA 10k Road Champion and former National Cyclist Sinead Noonan who makes her return to relays after missing last year’s event due to an accident on her bike. Flinders will look to make up some ground during this leg, using Youth Olympic Triathlete Charlotte Derbyshire.
The final 8km leg is set to be a nail-biter for club supporters involved with World U23 Duathlon medalist Dan Canala (Hills Districts) lined up against top 5 place getter at last year’s Australian Cross Country Championships in Rhys Jones (Adelaide Harriers). Lachlan Scott will fly the flag home for Flinders Athletics Club as they charge for another top 3 finish.
Last year’s event we saw an incredible run from Australian Ekiden representative Tara Palm in the first leg to set up Adelaide Harriers for a Record Breaking performance (2:20:15) on the War Memorial Drive Circuit. Unfortunately Palm will be absent as she chases her running goals in Europe. Other significant runners absent include Flinders Athletics Club’s Riley Cocks who was 2nd overall in last year's City-Bay.
While the race up the front unfolds there is a number of clubs involved that are looking to make their mark on the winter season with each runner collecting club points in either the full or half marathon distance. A young Pembroke team will continue their winter dominance within the junior ranks, while Saints, Western District, Northern Districts, Port Adelaide, Tea Tree Gully are fielding athletes across several teams. It appears we will see some sprinters and middle distance athletes doing their part for their club.
The event also attracts a number of recreational running teams set to challenge the marathon distance as a team! Entry closes at 7:15am on the day.
All the action from 8AM at War Memorial Drive, North Adelaide – Come and watch another great edition of the Ekiden Relays!
Last year's results: CLICK HERE
Event Website: CLICK HERE