Harriers Vets in Essex Champs Success
Colchester Harriers veteran athletes dusted down their spikes to taste success at this year’s Essex Cross Country Vets Championships in Writtle University College.
Leading the way, Adrian Mussett showed the field a clean pair of heels in the first race of the day, for men aged 50 upwards, coming home in first place by more than two minutes and in the process winning the MV50 individual gold medal. Team-mate Colin Ridley also ran a strong race to finish 16th overall and win the MV60 gold medal and with Chris Stevenson (34th), Will Haining (84th) and supervet Arthur Whiston (121st) combined to take the team MV60 title. Russell Goodridge (43rd), Paul Dellar (47th), Stuart Harris (68th), Kev McAlinden (83rd) and Ian Rattray (85th) also enjoyed rolling back the years as Colchester finished 5th in the MV50 category. Jon Nears, who was the club’s sole entrant in the MV40 race, came home in twenty-second position.
Harriers’ women also put up a strong showing, led by Margaret Deasy who came home eight overall to finish over four minutes clear of her closest rival to take gold in the FV55 category. Deasy was well backed up by Denise Morley in tenth (FV50 Silver), Annette Oakman in twelfth (FV50 bronze) and Mel Dowell (38th) as Harriers also swept to FV50 team gold. Cross country regular Ellie Cumner also ran well to finish seventeenth with Tina Southgate (42nd), Anita Mussett (50th), Sue Waller (59th) and Fran Norris (60th – FV60 bronze) also enjoying competitive runs and finishing well up the field.
Meanwhile, enjoying somewhat warmer conditions Mark McKeown ran 2:39:30 to finish just outside his Personal Best at the Valencia Marathon in Southern Spain.
Keeping with the international theme, in parkrun action Tim Ballard (20:20) was third home at Studley Park in Melbourne whilst Lily Gilby braved rather colder conditions to clock 22:59 in Krakow, Poland. Rather closer to home Jack McGuire ran a PB 17:41 where it all started at Bushy, Chris Sellens (18:14) was first finisher at Mersea island and John Scaife (18:30 – Alton Water), Jerry Walder (20:09 – Great Cornard) and Austen Mitchell (19:47 – Colchester Castle) also enjoyed first 3 finishes at their respective events.