Harriers win six medals at Oxford

Colchester Harriers’ Men’s Vet 50 team were in top form once again as they travelled to Oxford for the South of England Masters Cross Country Championship.  The quartet of Allen Smalls, Keith Marley, Paul Spowage and Colin Ridley saw off tough opposition from Guildford and Godalming AC on their way to the silver medals.  Meanwhile running for Essex in the Under 13’s Inter Counties event Lyla Belshaw finished in an impressive ninth position, also helping her team into the silver medal position. In the under 17’s event Milly Presland finished 21st as the Essex team took bronze medals.

Closer to home a number of Harriers were competing in Christmas themed off-road events.  Malcolm Statham posted 58:53 to finish second in the seven mile Secret Santa Shuffle in Stanway, with Richard Flutter (1:01:20) third, Annette Oakman (1:01:21) fourth and Louise Yates (1:16:18) and Arthur Whiston (1:20:48) also getting into the festive spirit.  Adrian Frost went the full distance in the Rayne’deer 6 hour challenge, managing four laps of the course to cover 26.2 miles in total, whilst Fay Smalls clocked 1:27:09 in the 17 Sleeps Trail Race in Great Waltham.

The green vests were busy on Saturday too, competing in a host of parkruns across the country (and abroad!).  There were 22 running at Colchester Castle where Danny Millward (17:37), Cameron Humphries (17:40) and James Wright (17:44) filled the first three places, with Kevin Higgins (18:20), Dan Summersgill – a Personal Best (PB) of 18:47 – and Johnathon Nears (19:02) also making the top 10.  The same event saw Lizzie Wellsted post her fourth PB in as many weeks, running 20:53 as she finished second Lady, with Rachel Dale third lady home in 21:05 and Chris Stevenson also recording a PB (21:03).

Paul Dobson was first home at Maldon, running 18:46, his fastest time for 5 months, Adam Gerrish was first at Wetherby (20:05) as was Dan Widdowson at Colchester Highwoods (19:17).  Other top 5 finishers were Russell Goodridge (20:49) and Sean Duffett (21:12) at Highwoods, Gavin Scanlon (18:39) at Colney Lane, Jerry Walder 18:28 (PB) at Harwich, and Jon Fryer (20:39) and Ian Rattray (21:25) at Mersea Island, whilst Simon Morgan bumped into Parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt in Jersey before completing the course in 22:18.

Florence Clark and Amelie Taylor were in action in the third sports hall competition organised by the Essex Athletics Network at Chelmsford on Saturday.  Under 11 Florence continued her fine sports hall season with wins in both the vertical jump (51cm) and standing triple jump (5.96m).  Florence was second in the hi stepper with 15.7 and clocked 25.5s in the two lap race. 

Amelie was fourth in the under 13 girls standing triple jump with her best effort measured at 5.86m while 1.88m in the standing long jump was good enough for fifth.  Amelie scored 69 in the speed bounce and finished second in her heat of the two lap race clocking 25.4s.   

Vet 50 silver medals for Allen Smalls, Colin Ridley, Keith Marley and Paul Spowage pictured with coach Richard Pickering.

Under 13 Lyla Belshaw (122) finished 9th to help Essex to silver medals in the SEAA Inter Counties at Oxford.

Milly Presland (third from left) was part of the bronze medal winning U17 team.

Five fine athletes posing in a bar after Secret Santa's Shuffle!

Arthur Whiston meets Santa!