It was once again a sunny evening for the Durham Summer Relays, and Roger Mosedale did a fine job of sorting out the teams who pretty much arrived on time in their kit ready to run. As last January, the course is now FLAT and basically round one and a half fields. I do feel a touch nostalgic about the cricket pavilion previously used as a base for the relays -its smell of used bacon fat and moist towels, the way the Poly claimed ‘their’ territory in the pavilion like American pioneers drawing up the wagon trains. But there are compensations. Did I say that the new course (two laps totalling 3K) is FLAT? That is, there are NO HILLS, particularly no 45 degree angle hills which were generally reduced to mush for the January relays. And the new base is a bright shiny, glass-walled cafe where if you’re lucky you can watch the rowers training next door in the indoor rowing tank. It’s a bit hipster, this cafe with organic food, seeds, nuts and gluten free choices. And there are newspapers available to read. After a while you begin to wonder whether it would be a better option to just relax in one of the faux leather sofas, order a latte and just chill. However there were no Poly athletes who thought that on 10th August, and there was an excellent team spirit.