BURY Athletic Club fielded two teams in the National Road Relay Championships in Birmingham’s Sutton Park on Saturday.

The club's A team came home in 54th place after four strong runs from Sophie Whittaker, Katie Geeland, Bev McAuley and Nicola Harland, while the B team, which included Sophie Hill, Brianne Turner, Lizzi Cheshire and Susan Ware, finished 79th.

Whittaker's opening leg of 16mins 1sec put Bury A in 43rd place, and while the team drifted backwards following 17:30 from Geelan and 18:44 from McAuley, Harland picked up four places with a last leg of 18:39.

Bury B were in 97th place after opening legs from Hill (19:28) and Turner (23:52), before Cheshire (19:41) picked up nine places and Susan Ward, making her debut, did the same with a strong finishing leg of 21:22.

Ben Coop showed his continuing progress by winning the Rochdale Half Marathon on Sunday in a new personal best time of 1:12:12, which was made all the more impressive by the fact the race was run on an undulating course.

Coop has showed significant recent improvements on the track and fells as well as the road, which bodes well for the forthcoming cross-country season.

Bury team-mates Matt Grice and Mark Simkins followed Coop home, with Grice producing a strong run of 1:28:00 in his first outing over the distance, while Simkins also set a lifetime best of 1:45:00.

Men’s team captain Byron Edwards proudly sported an England age vest at the Chester Marathon on Sunday. He carried the colours well, finishing 23rd in his age category in a time of 2:57:35.

Giles Bennett added another Northern Masters silver medal to his collection, finishing runner-up in his track debut in the 10,000m debut after clocking 38:57.

Next week brings the opening fixture of the Red Rose Cross Country League, held on the flat and fast course at Leigh’s Sports Village.