Harriers Triumph at Bentley

Colchester Harriers’ athletes defied the wind and rain to turn out in force for one of the region’s most popular half-marathons at Great Bentley.  The event, which this year doubled as an official England Athletics Age Group Masters qualifying event, attracted a particularly strong field from across the South of England, but Colchester’s runners were still able to figure prominently.

The resurgent women’s team again led the way, carrying off the coveted team trophy thanks to a string of fine performances.  Heidi Hogan-Steele continued her incredible run of form to take nearly 4 minutes off her Personal Best (PB) to finish second woman overall in a time of 1:22:08 – a remarkable run considering the inclement conditions.  Hogan-Steele was backed up by courageous runs from captain Tracy English, who finished eighth in 1:26:04 (PB) qualifying to represent England at her age group in the process, Victoria Primmer (14th in 1:27:57), Justine Sheekey (18th in 1:31:27 – a big PB in her home event) and debutant Ellie Cumner (19th in 1:31:38) as Harriers swept to the overall prize comfortably beating a strong Springfield Striders team into second place.

Ellie Cumner clocks an impressive 1:31:38 in her first half marathon.
In form Heidi Hogan-Steele leads the Harriers women’s team to victory smashing her PB with a time of 1:22:08.
Captain Tracy English finished eighth woman and first W45 in 1:26:04 (PB) and qualifies to represent England in her age group

Colchester’s men also coped admirably with the conditions, just missing out on the team prize themselves.  Nate Filer lead the way, showing a return to his best form with his time of 1:15:20 (PB) as he finished in 11th place.  Chris Sellens was 17th home in 1:15:53, Andrew Jobling also recorded a PB to finish 22nd in 1:16:47 with Mark McKeown clocking 1:17:24 to come in 26th.

Andrew Jobling finished in 22nd position in a PB 1:16:47.

There were other notable Colchester performances from Colin Ridley (first M60 in 1:19:57), Kevin Higgins (second M50 in a PB of 1:21:37), Jack McGuire (1:22:47 – PB), Jay Waite (1:24:08 – PB), Dan Cook (1:28:45 – PB), Steve Wilkins (1:28:59 – PB), Stuart Ashworth (1:29:38 – PB), Paul Neville (1:32:04 – PB), Chris Stevenson (1:34:48 – PB), Dan Meecham (1:36:08 – PB), Dan Macey (1:37:41 – PB) and Kate Gibson (1:46:53 – PB).

Meanwhile, in parkrun action, there were 2 incredible performances from young Colchester Harriers athletes at the town’s two parkruns.  Fourteen year old Lyla Belshaw was first across the line at the Colchester Highwoods event, finishing the tough 5 kilometre course in a remarkable time of 18:24 (PB), ranking her first in her age group in the UK whilst Lizzie Wellsted was first woman to finish at Castle Park, recording her own PB of 18:45 in the process.

Great Bentley Half Marathon – full results:

Women: Heidi Hogan-Steele 1:22:12 (2nd – PB), 8th Tracy English 1:26:04 (8th – PB), Victoria Primmer 1:27:57 (14th), Justine Sheekey 1:31:27 (18th – PB), Ellie Cumner 1:31:38 (19th), Eleanor Mayne 1:40:15, Melissa Dowell 1:44:58 and Kate Gibson 1:46:53 (PB).

Men:  Nate Filer 1:15:18 (11th – PB), Chris Sellens 1:15:50 (17th), Andrew Jobling 1:16:47 (22nd – PB), Mark McKeown (1:17:27 – 26th), Colin Ridley 1:19:57 (1st M60), Kevin Higgins 1:21:37 (PB), Tim Ballard 1:22:11, Jack McGuire 1:22:47 (PB), Jay Waite 1:24:08 (PB), Matt Thomas 1:24:39, Ged McMillan 1:25:57, Jerry Walder 1:26:21, Matt Davey 1:26:51, Tom Cresswell 1:27:58, Dan Cook 1:28:45 (PB), Barry Frost 1:28:42, Steve Wilkins 1:28:52 (PB), Stuart Ashworth 1:29:38 (PB), Richard Millward 1:30:31, Austen Mitchell 1:31:08, Chris Manby 1:31:15, Paul Neville 1:32:04 (PB), Tim Holden 1:34:34, Chris Stevenson 1:34:48 (PB), Daniel Meecham 1:36:08 (PB), Simon Miller 1:43:47, Mark Wellsted 1:46:47, Arthur Whiston (1:51:37).