Mixed weekend for Harriers

It was mixed weekend of results for Colchetser Harriers with a successful Colchester 15 being staged, but disappointment in the Essex Cross Country relays where the course signage presented problems to many of the teams and cost Harriers senior and mixed team medals on the day.

The Colchester 15 mile road race was held by the Harriers for the first time after its cancellation in March due to the snowy weather, and this time was greeted with a warm sunny day. All runners enjoyed the course and the race will return on March 17th 2019 as a 7.5 and 15 mile event. Trying to keep distance running on roads is not an easy task now with traffic in the town but it is important that forgotten distances such as 15 miles are returned to the road running scene. The winner Owen Cima of Brentwood set the standard with a time of 1hr 24m 18s, and for the ladies it was Nikki Brockbank of Springfield in a fast time of 1hr 40m 30s. First home for Colchester Harriers was Alex Sales in 6th spot clocking 1hr 37m 29s, then came Barry Frost 1hr 39m 11s, Paul Rodgers 1hr 40m 20s, Colin Ridley 2nd over 50 1hr 40m 40s, Malcolm Statham 1hr 51m 05s, Craig Mitchell 1hr 51m 11s, Adam Garrish 1hr 51m 23s, Ryan Williams 1hr 51m 43s, Jerry Walder 1hr 52m 49s, Richard Millward 1hr 53m 50s, Graham Langford 1hr 55m 37s, Jackie MacLannan 2hr 03m 14s 2nd senior lady and Cheryl Appleby 2hr 09m 59s 3rd senior lady.

Clive Thomas won the over 55 category at the hilly Stowmarket half marathon clocking a fine 1hr 27m 31s.

In the Inter Areas Masters 8km Cross Country Challenge Paul Spowage 30m 50s, Bill Haining 35m 51s and Simon Morgan 37m 21s were part of the winning Eastern Masters team. The race incorporated the East of England Cross Country Championships in which Bill Haining (over 60) and Paul Spowage (over 50) both win bronze medals in their age groups.

A large number of junior and senior teams competed in the Essex Cross Country Relays at Gosfield School on Saturday.  The huge number of teams made marshalling difficult and the woodland areas had signage problems which saw many runner go off course.  Harriers were disappointed as the green vests were well clear in the senior mens race after a sparkling run by Ramadam Osman, but sometimes things go wrong, and the race is now history.  Although the Harriers were awarded bronze medals, it was decided to decline them as no one knows the true result.  The mixed teams were unlucky again as there seemed to be a problem on the third leg.  Oscar Dawson, Heidi Steele, Rebecca Cooke and Colin Ridley, were given 4th place with the Harriers B team of Andy Jobling, Andrea James, Helen Taczynski and Paul Rodgers placed 5th. The ladies also just missed out in 4th place with great runs by Stacey Eyres, Sarah Stradling and Aiko Hennington. The junior teams all did very well with the under 17 men also unlucky to miss out on medals.

Wayne Cook ran a personal best 1hr 02m 09s at the Bure Valley 10 miles in Norfolk, Cook was first in the over 45 age group.