Harriers Girls Storm To Gold

The Colchester Harriers Ladies’ team announced their arrival on the county athletics stage with a resounding victory at the Essex Half Marathon Championships, held in Pleshey. On an unexpectedly sultry autumn morning the team swept all before them to take a convincing team gold medal thanks to a stream of fine performances. Heidi Hogan-Steele led the way, finishing 3rd overall to also take individual bronze in a fine time of 1:26:49 in what was her first competitive outing for over 18 months. The Tolleshunt D’Arcy based runner was backed up some excellent, consistent efforts from her team-mates with Jennifer Lovelock running a brilliantly paced 1:33:48 to finish seventh, Polly Mears (1:33:59) and Justine Sheekey (1:36:33) both performing admirably on their half marathon debuts to finish eighth and ninth respectively and Eleanor Mayne clocking 1:44:22 to finish twenty-third.

There were some notable performances from Harriers’ male runners too – with Colin Ridley taking V55 Gold in 1:22:26, Andrew Lovelock posting 1:26:59, Jerry Walder 1:28:44 and Steve Wilkins 1:31:54. In his final outing before the London Marathon Simon Miller came home in 1:43:16 whilst Chris Stevenson ran a personal best 1:38:59 and Paul Clark and Cliff Adam posted 1:57:59 and 2:29:18 respectively.

Perhaps less surprisingly it was also warm in southern Spain where Louise Yates finished the Marbella Half Ironman in 7:04:14. Yates completed the 1.2 mile swim in 50:47, the 56 mile bike leg in 3:42:06 and then capped it off with a 2:18:31 half-marathon to finish an excellent 11th in her age category.

Back at home Colchester’s runners were also busy on Parkrun day, with no fewer than 18 club members running at Colchester Castle where Jon Nears was second finisher in 18:17 and Alexandra Hennessey second female in 22:34. There were also good performances across town at Highwoods where Pete West ran 21:30 to finish third and Sean Duffett put in another strong showing on the hilly course, clocking 21:35 to come in sixth. There was a Harriers double on the grass at Great Cornard with Tom Cresswell finishing first male in 18:13 and the fast improving Victoria Primmer first female in 19:24. Ian Haw ran 18:34 to finish eight in Chelmsford, Simon Ford posted 19:36 at Birkenhead whilst Ellla Jeffries was in Woolacombe Dunes in Devon where she ran 25:36 to finish second female.