Eastern Counties to host new road relay

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A new relay road race will take place later this month, organised by the Eastern Counties Association which hosts the popular cricket competition.

The first Eastern Counties Relay Classic, to be held in conjunction with the Swan’s Running Club, will be run on January 27 and will involve the four Eastern Counties communities Flatts, Harris Bay (Cleveland County), Bailey’s Bay and St. David’s.

Eastern Counties Association President Steven Douglas, who is race director along with Stan Douglas, thinks it will become a popular event and will bring the communities together.

The four cricket clubs are being encouraged to enter teams along with other sports groups including the running clubs and a trophy will be presented to the first counties team to finish the four-leg race.

“The main reason is, like a lot of clubs, we are one dimensional with just cricket or football and from my travels as an overseas umpire we see clubs doing quite a lot of extra stuff and it has opened my eyes,” said Douglas, the brother of national track and field coach Troy Douglas.

“I forwarded it to the BCB (Bermuda Cricket Board) and the BFA (Bermuda Football Association) and they have put it to their people and hopefully some of them will get involved as well as the running clubs.

“Not everybody can do 24th of May, so with people who can only do three miles this is an ideal race for them. And it is building team camaraderie. We will have a special trophy for the Eastern Counties club that comes first, just like the cricket series. They will battle for a separate trophy.”

Douglas has visions of the relay becoming a popular race on the road running calendar.

The idea for the race was born about a year and a half ago and has been included in the Bermuda National Athletics Association’s schedule for the season.

“I realise this is the first year and you may not get all what you want in the first year but the Eastern Counties series is where it is now because of the longevity,” said Douglas. “I intend to work on it until it catches on and becomes a part of the road racing calendar.”

The relay will start at Flatts Field and take the first leg runners one and half miles through Harrington Sound Road to Cleveland County Club for the first handover. The second leg is three miles from Cleveland County Club to Bailey’s Bay Cricket Club before another three mile leg continues from Duck’s Puddle Drive and towards St. David’s for the final changeover at Stokes Point on St. David’s Road near the entrance to the old bridge.

The final leg from Stokes Point to St. David’s is a two-and-a-half mile distance to St. David’s Cricket Club via Southside Road, Clearwater Middle School and Great Bay Road.

Entry forms are available at Sportseller in the Washington Mall and from Cleveland County, Bailey’s Bay and St. David’s Cricket Clubs. Forms must be returned to Sportseller by 4.30 on Friday, January 25 with cheques made payable to Swan’s Running Club. Entry fee is $120 per team and registration can also be done online at www.racedayworld.com

Race numbers must be picked up on Saturday, January 26 between noon and 3pm at Harrington Workmen’s Club. Late entries will only be accepted at number pickup for an additional $5 fee.

Trophies will be awarded for the top three male and female teams as well as for the first placed cricket club team.

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