Over 50’s take silver medals in tight finish

The Harriers over 50 mens team have had a very successful season taking silver team medals at the Southern Road Relays and retaining their Essex Cross Country Championship team crown at Hilly Fields this month.  The season was rounded off with a fine cross country display at the South of England Masters Cross Country Championship, held at Oxford at the weekend.  In a very tight team event only nine points separated the first five teams, with the Harriers taking the silver medals finishing a single point behind Thames Hare And Hounds, with third placed London Heathside a further two points back.  Yet again it was Allen Smalls, the Essex over 50 cross country champion, who led the green vests to the silver medals.  In a very high quality event Smalls was eighth and was backed up by Paul Spowage  21st and Paul Dobson 26th.  There were great runs by Colin Ridley 42nd and Simon Morgan 57th. 

At the same meeting Milly Presland represented Essex in the under 15 girls inter counties race finishing in a fine 35th position, backing up a strong Essex team that took the gold medals.  Also running was Danny Millward who was the third Essex runner home in the under 17 men’s inter counties race finishing in 52nd position.  

The Colchester Castle Park run saw 447 runners take to the line, with Harriers well to the fore.  Young Thomas Palmer ran to his first victory clocking an impressive 17m 31s, a personal best.   Thomas outsprinted team mates Jason Gunn 2nd in 17m 34s and Angus Holford 3rd in 17m 55s.  Rounding out the top ten were Fergus Crouch 5th in 18m 11s, Ian Haw 6th in 18m 30s and Alex Sales 10th in 18m 43s.  Jon Nears was 11th in 19m 00s and Andy Lovelock 13th in 19m 17s.  Charlie Holohan equalled his PB in 20m 17s.

Richard Flutter swept to victory at the Clacton Seafront Park run in 19m 13s, with Debbie Cattermole 2nd lady in 22m 13s.  There was a double Harriers victory at the Cudmore Grove Park run with Russell Goodridge first home in 20m 47s and Alexandra Hennessy first lady home in 23m 01s.  Rachel Richardson-Wright finished 20th overall at the Dolgellau Park run in mid-Wales.

At the Valencia Marathon James Wright at last beat the 2hr 45m marker he had set himself clocking 2hr 44m.  Mark McKeown ran an excellent 2hr 48m with Simon Miller also in good form finishing in 3hr 43m.

Allen Smalls, Paul Spowage, Colin Ridley and Paul Dobson

Milly Presland (top right) was part of the Essex under 15 girls team that took gold medals at the Inter Counties at Oxford.

Richard Flutter first home at the Clacton Seafront Park run. Debbie Catermole was second lady finisher.