The highs and lows of team sport were evident at the two-day Calderdale Way Relay.

On Sunday evening, Airedale Athletics captain Will Kerr was ecstatic with a record team time and highest ever placing in what is billed as the UK's largest club-led off-road race.

But by Monday night dejection had set in as the team were disqualified for not having the requisite safety kit.

It was a tough but correct penalty imposed by event organisers Halifax Harriers - and it was a fate that befell three other teams of the 83 finishers.

And remarkably, the Wharfedale Harriers team that had pushed Airedale close for the fourth team spot were also relegated to the bottom of the standings.

A worse fate applied to Accrington Road Runners who were in contention for the prize as best mixed team.

Until the official results were posted, it had looked like a powerful leg by Matt Nowell and Kerr, after a strong opener by Baildon duo Steve Watkins and Chris Burke, had put Airedale into fourth spot, right behind Clayton-le-Moors.

And it was a position ruggedly defended on the sixth and final leg by Matt Gurney and Gary Scott.

They were under pressure from 5 pairing Christian Holmes and Gareth Hird, Calder Valley's winning mixed team, and Pudsey & Bramley.

While all these teams lost time by taking wrong routes, Gurney and Scott thought they had anchored Airedale to a best-ever finish.

The fight for what turned out to be third spot need not disguise the delight for first-time winners Sale Harriers.

Their club coach saw this as a huge advance for a club better noted for track-and-field, saying: "The club joins the ranks of esteemed fell-running clubs, including Bingley, Calder Valley and Salford." Their mixed team was third.

Clayton-le-Moors were second and Todmorden third. Initial leaders Preston faded to ninth.

Pudsey & Bramley rose to fifth, largely thanks to the fastest fifth leg of the day by Jon Holah and Paul Stevenson.

But overall, since the race moved in 2011 from mid-December to mid-May, the number of teams have dropped by a quarter, and the top clubs, like Salford, Bingley, Calder Valley and Pudsey & Bramley either have not entered or have done so without their strongest teams.

And undoubtedly the challenge is far milder at this time of the year.

Queensbury Running Club, however, entering the event for the first time, will have been delighted with 20th spot.

Chris Williams and Darren Midgley led off and finished leg one in eighth spot. At halfway, the club were sixth.

Most local clubs had several teams, with Keighley & Craven's A team ending 15th.