Essex Vets and Junior XC Champs

So close to the triple as harriers dominate

The town of Colchester had its second major Championship in a week with Colchester Harriers staging the Essex  Veterans XC Championships a few days after the Eastern Championships had been run at Hilly Fields.

Colchester Harriers have been a dominant force in the Veteran categories for years and nothing changed  at Abbey Fields with Harriers winning team gold in two out of the three races and team silvers in the other, and also crowned three County Champions a fine result.


It was the Veteran Ladies who got the green vests off to a successful start and swooped to take team gold and regain their title won in 2014. New veteran Ellie Mayne was the star coming back early from time away to lead Colchester to gold in 7th place. Robbed of star turn, with illness Sarah Stradling just before the start, Harriers other ladies took to the task and chasing Mayne home were Denise Morley 12, Marie Shirley 14, and a quickly improving Amanda Henry 18 to clinch the team golds. Just Behind Henry and unlucky not to get a team medal was super Veteran Lyn Higgs 19, but great news for Higgs was the individual gold medal in the over 55 category. A cascade of Harriers ladies completed the event showing the depth of talent at this level. Liz Cudmore 72nd overall returned to action to clinch a superb gold medal in the over 65 age category. Other Harriers to run were Annette Oakman 21, Debbie Cattermole 25, Mellisa Dowell 32, Rachel Taylor 34, Anita Mussett 48, Lydia Cunningham 50, Cathy Beard 64, Fay Smalls 71, and Rachel Richardson-Wright 80.

Team result

1. Colchester Harriers 51

2. Chelmsford AC 57

3. Saffron Striders 73.

Harriers B team 6th and C team 11th.

Men V50

The over 50 mens race saw a cracking effort by Harriers Colin Ridley ran away from the pack on the last lap of the 8km course to become County Champion and lead his club to team golds. Ridley has been in superb form all year and won numerous road Championships, this is his first time as Veteran XC Champion. Next in was the experienced Paul Spowage 5th and completing the team were Andy Raynor 12th (winning his first ever county medal), and team captain Pete West 13th. Martyn Clarke was unlucky again to miss out on a medal in 15th spot but led a strong B team to 4th spot overall.  The others scoring for the B team were Richard Boden 24, Simon Smith 26, and Kevim Mcalinden 38. Arthur Whiston was 44 and Paul Bryan 52.

Team Result

1. Colchester Harriers 31

2. Ilford AC 62

3. Thurrock Harriers 76

4. Colchester Harriers B 103.

Men V40

Without star turn Adrian Mussett it was always going to be hard for the over 40 men to take medals, but they all ran above expectations to take the silver team medals, probably the superb run by Richard Heath was the turning point, Heath came through the field on the last lap from 8th to 3rd place and took the individual bronze. Spurred on the green vests rallied and Allen Smalls also ran a superb last mile for 7th, with Mark Harrod 12th and Jon Nears 16th. Harriers stole the silver medals from Springfield Striders in a tight finish. The B team of Paul Rodgers 25, Keith Marley 33, Sean Ketteridge 38, and Dan Foster 42, were 7th, then came Russell Goodridge 53, Simon Morgan 65, and Pat Marsh 70.

Team Result

1. Orion Harriers 29

2. Colchester Harriers 38

3. Springfield Striders 43

Also 7th Colchester harriers B team 138.


In the Junior Championship it was great news for the under 15 girls who took the bronze team medals thanks to great running by Hannah Watson 10, Pippa Garbutt 13, Jasmine West 16, and Jasmine Marley 43.

The under 15 boys were 6th with Danny Millward 13, Max Caulfield 15, and Alexander Williamson 36.

In the under 13 girls brave runs came from Hannah Rodgers 43, and Francesca Williamson 47.

In the under 13 boys Ziggy Lambton was unlucky, finishing 6th after an early fall had dropped him towards the back of the field


Colin Ridley won individual and team gold in the V50 race

Richard Heath took the Individual bronze and team silver in the V40 race

Liz Cudmore V65 Gold medalist

V50 Team Win Gold

Action from V50 race