Harriers Through to National Finals

Colchester Harriers continued their recent run of success on the national athletics stage with a fine performance in the qualifying round of England Athletics Virtual Road Relay Competition.

The competition, organised by the sport’s governing body, involved 2,500 athletes from nearly 150 of the country’s top clubs each running 5 mile legs against the clock.  The best four men’s and women’s times from each club were then combined, with the top 50 clubs qualifying for the next, National Round.

Harriers’ runners showed the benefits of their lockdown training regimes to put in a string of excellent performances and propel the club up to seventeenth place in the country, finish as Essex’s top club and comfortably make it through to the next stage.

New boy Ben Felton ran the fastest time for the club, clocking 25:42 with the evergreen Adrian Mussett running 26:34, the third fastest time nationally in his age category.  Tom Cresswell (27:32) and Andrew Jobling (27:40) put in strong runs whilst Richard Heath (27:43) and Paul Rodgers (27:53)  both finished in the top 10 of the M45 category to finish just outside the scoring positions.

Heidi Steele was the fastest of the club’s women runners, the Tolleshunt D’Arcy based runner stopping the clock at 31:19, the fast improving pair of Ellie Cumner (31:46, 9th W40) and Victoria Primmer (32:09) both ran their fastest times for the distance by a considerable margin, whilst Tracy English celebrated her recent move to the club with an excellent debut run of 32:31.   Jennifer Lovelock continued her own run of fine form to finish just outside the scoring quartet with 32:44 in what was an excellent team performance by the women in green that eclipsed that of many of the club’s finishing above them in the overall rankings.

There were a number of other excellent performances from Colchester’s runners, including Colin Ridley (30:59) and Fran Norris (39:10), who also finished in the top 10 of their respective age groups nationally.

Harriers are now gearing up for the next round, to be held 10-15 February, aiming to improve further on their strong showing and break into the top 10 ranked clubs in the country.

Provisional results for Colchester Harriers’ runners in full: 

Men – Ben Felton 25:42, Adrian Mussett 26:34 (3rd M45), Tom Cresswell 27:32, Andrew Jobling 27:40, Richard Heath 27:43 (7th M45), Allen Smalls 29:54, Ged McMillan 30:42, Colin Ridley 30:59 (10th M55), Dan Cook 32:53, James Waterson 32:53, Jerry Walder 34:23, Charlie Walder 35:48.

Women – Heidi Steele 31:19, Ellie Cumner 31:46 (9th F40), Victoria Primmer 32:09, Tracy English 32:31, Jennifer Lovelock 32:44, Eleanor Mayne 35:26, Annette Oakman 36:53, Fran Norris 39:10 (10th W60).

Heidi Steele ran the fastest time of our ladies 31:19.