Ram storms to Benfleet 15 win

Ram Osman continued his fast start to 2020 by claiming victory in the 30th running of the Benfleet 15 in sunny conditions on the South Essex coast.  Osman completed the gruelling, muddy 15 mile off-road course in a remarkable 1:32:56 to finish over a minute ahead of second placed finisher, training partner Aaron Graves.  Paul Rodgers was next home for the club, coming home 23rd out of a field of nearly 900 in a time of 1:44:23, with Gavin Scanlan not far behind in 31st in 1:47:13.  James Wright recorded 1:48:41 as Chris Manby shrugged off injury concerns to run strongly to record 1:52:34 and finish just outside the top 50.  Lee Holohan clocked 2:02:08, Richard Millward 2:04:45 whilst Mel Dowell was first female home for the club, finishing second in her age group in a time of 2:12:24.  Ella Jeffries clocked 2:15:40, Kate Gibson enjoyed her debut to run 2:37:04, the same time as Louise Yates with Mark Wrigley coming over the last hill to cross the line in 2:41:56.

Meanwhile enjoying somewhat firmer underfoot conditions at the Snetterton 10K , 62 year old super-vet Paul Mingay ran a remarkable 35:39 to finish ninth overall, first V60 and post the fastest time in his age group this year by a margin of over a minute.   Club mate Simon Ford also ran strongly, recording a Personal Best (PB) 38:36 to finish 19th overall and fourth M40.

A number of our junior girls were competing for the North East Essex team at the Essex County Schools Cross Country Championships at Writtle College on Saturday. Milly Presland and Madeleine Claydon ran in the Intermediate Girls race. Milly continued her fine cross country season finishing fourth to qualify for the National Schools Championship at Liverpool in March. There were good runs from Emily Swan, Lizzie Wellsted and Amelia Green in the junior girls race where all were competing in these championships for the first time.

Emily, Lizzie, Madeleine and Milly.

In parkrun action a remarkable 33 Harriers took part in the 357th Colchester Castle event, Angus Holford was runner up in 17:04 with Jason Gunn third finisher in 17:51, Jon Nears fourth in 18:01 and Richard Heath fifth in 18:15. Also finishing in the top 10 were Ian Jefferies and Mikey Smith. Junior Lyla Belshaw continuing her great run of form clocking a PB 19:57 to finish 21st overall and the first female finisher. The time moved Lyla to fourth on the all time list for the JW11-14 age category at the venue, just 10 seconds short of Milly Presland’s fastest time when she was competing in this category. With a couple more years in this age category, Lyla has her sight set on the number one spot currently held by a Chelmsford AC athlete with a time of 19:21.

Kieran Callaghan celebrated his final parkrun as a senior athlete finishing in 129th place, clocking 25:27 at Castle Park on Saturday.

Heidi Steele was first female finisher at Maldon Prom in 20:46, Russell Goodridge was second overall at Mersea Island in 19:38 whilst Cameron Phillips was fifth across the line up in Edinburgh in a time of 18:19.  However the fastest time of the day was recorded by Gavin Scanlan who ran a PB of 17:48 at Dulwich, but still finished down in 30th position on what is regarded as one of the fastest courses in the country.

Ram leads the way