It was in a moment of madness that the Sportsmanship First team decided to attack the hilly terrain of the Surrey hills for the Denbies Vineyard Relay.
The Chichester-based organisation – who visit schools to teach and promote good sportsmanship in competitive sport – entered two teams into the event.
Their A team comprised Paul Heath (leg one), Neil McAlpine (two) and James Pennicott (three). The B team was Nick Casburn (one), Lee Neumann (two) and Kevin McGreal (three).
The race began with the SF runners facing a difficult opening, with the famous Box Hill stage awaiting them.
Both the club’s A and B-team runners did well in the opening stage and handed over to the respective second team members in a healthy position.
The second stage proved just a difficult with a six-and-a-half mile climb facing them.
The Sportsmanship First A team really came into their own in this stage, though, and closed the gap on the race leaders to ten seconds with just the final stage ahead.
And the lead team’s final runner produced a magnificent final four-mile run to take first spot and leave the team only 45 seconds off top spot.
It proved a successful event for the B team as well – they finished in eighth position out of the 82 entries.
Sportsmanship First has helped many of the county’s children to appreciate that competition is a fact of life and empower them with the confidence and understanding to want to encourage each other, regardless of ability – helping make a difference, on and off the field.
Stephen Crossley, of Sportsmanship First, said: “We know sport is a powerful showcase for life skills and it is great when leaders are seen demonstrating sincere displays of honourability and integrity.”
For more information please visit www.sportsmanshipfirst.co.uk