Harriers’ Women Take County Gold

Colchester Harriers’ women’s team picked up from where they left off in 2021 by taking the first gold medal of the 2022 Essex County Road race Championships series at the Essex 20, held in windy conditions at Debden.  Heidi Hogan-Steele led the way once again, the in-form Maldon based runner smashing her Personal Best (PB) to cross the line in 2:10:15 to also take the individual gold medal.  Tracy English, whose trophy cabinet has also started to fill up since making the move to Colchester, took individual bronze in a PB of 2:18:18 with Jennifer Lovelock completing the winning team in a time of 2:27:03.  Tina Southgate also had a strong run, recording her own PB of 2:43:44.

2022 Essex 20 mile Champion – Heidi Hogan-Steele

The race also doubled as the Inter-Counties Championship, with Hogan-Steele and English helping Essex to third place overall as the home team finished less than a minute behind winners Sussex.

Colchester’s men had a good day too with Nate Filer recording his second PB in 4 weeks as he clocked 1:58:58.  Filer was backed up by Ram Osman (2:01:35) and Mark McKeown (2:02:28) as the men finished just outside the medals.  There were also PB performances lower down the field from Matt Davey, who took more than 5 minutes of his previous best to clock 2:15:52 and Steve Wilkins, whose time of 2:21:27 eclipsed his previous mark by a remarkable 40 minutes.

Nate Filer and Ram Osman at the Essex 20.

Meanwhile a band of intrepid Harriers made the journey to the Devon Coast for the 34th running of The Grizzly, featuring over 3,500 feet of climbing across a multi-terrain course traversing bog, beach and various waterways.  Allen Smalls, returning from injury, came home in 41st place out of more than 1,800 runners in a time of 2:52:38, Tom Cresswell slipped under 3 hours to also make the top 100, whilst Victoria Primmer, Justine Sheekey, Dan Cook and Paul Dellar took a bit more time to enjoy the scenery, finishing together in 3:51:50.

Allen Smalls was a fine 41st at the Grizzly.
More Harriers running the Grizzly.
Harriers Victoria and Justine in Devon for The Grizzly.

Meanwhile on the track Colin Ridley’s golden start to the season continued as he added to his 3000 metre title to take gold in both the British Masters 1500 and 800 indoor metre championships – clocking 4:48 for the 1500 and 2:19 for the shorter event. 

Finally, in parkrun action, 22 Harriers ran at Castle Park with the father and son duo of Aaron and Keith Marley (19:26 and 20:00 respectively) joined by Richard Millward (20:12) in the first ten finishers.  James Plant was first finisher across town at Highwoods, clocking 21:32 on the challenging mainly off-road course, with Sean Duffett fourth in 22:21, whilst Tim Holden was third at Alton Water in 21:00.

Essex 20 – full results:

Women: Heidi Hogan-Steele 2:10:15 (PB), Tracy English 2:18:18 (PB), Jennifer Lovelock 2:27:03, Tina Southgate 2:43:44 (PB). Men:  Nate Filer 1:58:28 (PB), Ram Osman 2:01:35, Mark McKeown 2:02:28, Mark Howard 2:11:16, Matt Davey 2:15:52 (PB), Steve Wilkins 2:21:27 (PB), Stuart Ashworth 2:23:26, Paul Neville 2:34:37, Chris Stevenson 2:37:18