Harriers On Top at One Tree Hill

Colchester Harriers kicked of the Essex League cross-country season is style with a superb all round team effort on a challenging course at One Tree Hill, Basildon.

The senior women lead the way thanks to all six of their runners featuring in the top twenty-five.  Victoria Primmer, fresh from success at the London Marathon led the way to finish eighth and was well backed up by Emma Burgess (14th), Tracy English (15th), Margaret Deasy (19th, 1st V55), Ellie Cumner (24th) and Denise Morley (25th – 1st V50) as the team saw off Havering, Southend and Thurrock to finish the day sitting on top of Division One.

Harriers Ladies top Division 1 with victory in the first Essex League race of the season at One Tree Hill

The senior men enjoyed a particularly strong turnout, with eleven runners lining up on the start line.  First home was Adrian Mussett, the supervet finishing fifth overall, and first V50, with Cameron Humphries (32nd), Dan Widdowson (46th), Colin Ridley (50th, 1st V60), Harry Swinbourne (60th) and Luke Orrin (61st) completing the scoring team.  Rob Smith (81st), Mikey Smith (83rd), James Waterson (126th), James Plant (133rd) and Ian Rattray (161st) all providing good supporting runs as the green vests finished a creditable seventh of the thirty-three competing teams.

A number of junior Harriers also donned their racing shoes – with Isla Widdowson finishing an excellent third in the U15 girls race backed up by Beatrice Sivyer in eleventh whilst Emily Henderson was 20th  home in the U17 women’s race. Myles Mitchell Smith was 48th in the U13 boys event, Finley Greenleaf 11th U15 boy and Sean Eales 25th U17 man.

Meanwhile on the roads, and just two weeks after completing the London Marathon, Heidi Hogan-Steele ran out clear winner of the Chelmsford event, pacing herself well to come home in 3:04:17, more than 15 minutes clear of her closest rival.  Paul Bleck also ran a superbly controlled race to clock a Personal Best (PB) 2:55:08 to finish in fifteenth place overall.  Ram Osman ran out clear winner in the half-marathon, running a time of 1:13:28, and with Mark McKeown crossing the line fourth in 1:17:51 and Matt Thomas seventh in 1:20:58 (PB) the Colchester club went home with the men’s team prize.  Seb Eaton, returning from injury ran 1:38:25 whilst Phil Wood finished the Bath Half in 1:43:00.

Over in Suffolk Justine Sheekey made it a weekend hat-trick of wins for Colchester’s women finishing nearly two minutes clear of the field to win the Capel 5 in 32:58. Kate Gibson was fourth home in 36:57 with Fran Norris first W55 in 37:44.  Simon Ford was first man home for the club, recording 31:55, Simon Colclough ran 32:32, David Hilson 34:27, Lee Holohan 34:45 and Dan Macey 35:47.