World record for Adrian & Steve

Saturday 18th February 2023

World record for Adrian & Steve

Three relay records fall at Lee Valley

By James Davis

 FEB 16, 2023

Lee Valley played host to three different world record attempts in the same race last night, as a trio of British teams took on the 4×800 metre relay.

Held as a showpiece race in the middle of an open meeting, the race was a wonderful advert for masters athletics, and can be watched in full on YouTube here.

M55s steal Spanish standard

The M55 team, led out by Adrian Haines in 2:16, were targeting the youngest record in all senses, the mark of 9:00.85 only having been set by a Spanish quartet last March.

David Cowlishaw, an Altrincham athlete who boasts a senior PB of 1:53.78, put together a consistent leg of 2:16 to bring the team to half-distance.

2022 British M55 800 metres champion outdoors, Steve Atkinson, raced to the final baton change in a 2:12 split, over seven seconds faster than last summer’s gold medal-winning efforts.

A strong final leg from Rob McHarg, also in 2:12, ensured the first record of the evening was broken, as the Datchet Dashers man crossed the line in 8:57.37, revising the record books with a 2:14.3 average across the four legs.

All except Cowlishaw will face off this weekend at the BMAF British Indoor Championships in an event that features five of this indoor season’s top six M55s.

Speaking after the race, McHarg was delighted with the team performance. Having recently turned 59, and so in his last year as an M55, he relished the company of his three sprightly 55-year-old teammates.

He said: “I’m relieved that we managed to break the record. It was touch and go there for a while, but as a team we brought it all together.”

Teammate Cowlishaw was pleased that the quartet’s preparation had paid off: “We all had to get here fit and healthy, and no disaster to happen, not dropping the baton, not having an injury. So, it takes a lot for it to come together.”

McHarg agreed: “At our age, the biggest achievement is getting on the line uninjured.”