SOUTHAMPTON AC’s veteran athletes trekked to Long Eaton, Nottingham, for the British Masters (BMAF) Cross-Country Relay Championships.

They made the journey well worthwhile, coming away with two top-ten finishes.

Taking part in this championship for the first time, Southampton entered two teams - one in the M35-44 year-old category and one in M45-54.

With five athletes per team, each running three kilometres, the M35-44s were led home in 13th place on a strong opening leg by Matt Hibberd (10 minutes 28 seconds) James Smith (10.13) ran the fastest leg for Southampton on leg two, moving the team up to ninth.

Rob Ralls (11.41) kept close order on leg three before Stuart Hicks (10.55) posted the sixth fastest time of leg four.

That left Jim Bennett (11.08) the task of bringing the team home for tenth spot overall.

The M45-54’s opening leg runner Howard Long (12.29) placed 16th place before Peter Costley (11.11) took the red and whites into the top ten.

John MacInnes (12.30) pushed up one more place to ninth before David Blackman (10.35) ran Southampton’s fastest leg to finish sixth.

Andy Morgan-Lee (10.44) rounded things off nicely, bringing the team home fifth overall.