Runners v Riders Cross Country
The traditional clash of the club Runners v Cyclists for the Markham Cup gets underway at Friday Woods, Colchester on Boxing Day morning starting at 11am, the senior men run three laps of the 2,000m course, the ladies two laps and the U15’s one lap which will be for the Neil Pears Trophy. There is also an U13 race of 2 laps in the woods of 800m starting at 10:20am. All age groups compete at their own risk.
This year, for only the second time in the 87 years history of the event, the cyclists will be starting one minute ahead of the runners, the results will be based on overall times, this decision came after a meeting between John Hyland and Paul Spowage of Colchester Harriers and Colin White and Peter Hall of Colchester Rovers Cycling Club, the quartet felt that with the increased numbers of competitors taking part in the race the risk of injury at the mass start is high, so hopefully this decision will help eliminate some of the these risks.
The Cyclists look set to be favourites to maintain the Markham Cup for the 15th time with last years individual winner cyclist Cameron Hurst, who broke the course record with a time of 16m 39s, set to make it a hat-trick of wins. Colchester Mayor Peter Chillingworth, who actually won this race himself as a runner in 1962, 1965 and 1966, will be on hand to start the race