A quiet weekend thanks to Ciara

Colchester Harriers’ runners braved the wind and the rain to fill five of the top seven positions at The Lamarsh Lionheart 5 mile trail race, the only race to survive as Storm Caira played havoc with Sunday’s local race programme.  Malcolm Statham was first home for the club and second overall as he came across the line in 41:05, just ahead of Douglas O’Neill who ran 42:37 to take third.  Richard Flutter clocked 44:26 to finish fifth, Simon Smith posted 44:31 for sixth whilst Debbie Cattermole ran 44:34 to finish second female and seventh overall.  Rachel Rodgers also braved the conditions to come across the line in 1:04:51.

Saturdays’ parkrunners enjoyed rather more friendly conditions.  Twenty Harriers competed at Castle Park, with Cameron Humphries posting 17:57 to finish second, Jon Nears running 18:11 (third), Ian Jeffries 18:52 (fifth) and Amelia Green finishing first female in a new PB of 21:11.  There were also ten green vests running across town at Highwoods with Dan Widdowson first across the line in an impressive 18:40, Jason Gunn fourth in 20:11, Harrison Leek fifth in 21:16 and Andrea James first female in 21:31.  Will Radley continued his purple patch as he finished first at Maldon in 18:20 as Heidi Steele also showed signs of a return to form, running 19:26 to finish first female.  Colin Ridley ran 19:21 to finish second at Great Cornard, just ahead of Charlie Walder who was third in 19:35 with Dave Hilson also making the top 10 with his run of 20:17.  Tim Ballard posted 19:30 to finish third at Great Notley with Russell Goodridge fifth in 20:07, whilst Chris Sellens finished third at Mersea Island in 20:46 ahead of Ned Messer who was fifth in 21:57.  Simon Smith was seventh at Clare Castle in 21:24, Michael Smith ran 19:19 to come in ninth at Chelmsford with Milly Presland also breaking 20 minutes with 19:55 at Raphael.  There were also some fast times recorded further afield, including Allen Smalls running 19:07 to finish 3rd at Rothay, Adam Gerrish (20:21, third at Wetherby), Martyn Clarke (20:26, second at Salcey Forest) and John Day (19:36, third at Telford).

During the week, Lyla Belshaw competed in the Year 7 Essex Schools Championships at Stubbers, Upminster. Lyla ran a strong race, winning the 3km event in 12:04, and 22 seconds ahead of the second placed athlete. This has qualified Lyla for the Essex Team in the Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships in Kent on 21st March.