Ridley (caught on video) Smashing British Record

Colchester Harriers’ veteran Colin Ridley continued his run of golden form to clock the fastest indoor mile of all time by a British M60 athlete.  Running in the Ayo Falola Dream Mile at Lee Valley Stadium on Wednesday evening.  Ridley clocked a remarkable 4:58:23 to take more than 20 seconds off the previous mark and so secure his place in the record books.  Ridley was joined at the event by club mate Jon Nears, who won the C race in a Personal Best (PB) 4:53:17.

Lee Valley – Men’s C Mile – 16 February 2022 – YouTube

On Saturday at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham Charlie Dobson clocked 6.62s to win his 60m heat and progress to the final where he ran a personal best 6.59s to finish fifth just 4/100ths of a second  behind Noah Lyles, the first of four American sprinters. Charlie headed the four Brits in the race which saw all eight finalists covered by just 8/100ths! Charlie currently heads the 2022 indoor 60m UK rankings and now sits equal 21st in the all time UKA rankings.

Charlie Dobson was the fastest Brit in the 60m at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday clocking 6.59s.

Following Charlie’s super performance there was more indoor track excitement on Sunday when Rebecca Jeggo claimed silver in the women’s 200m at the BUCS indoor Championships in Sheffield.  Rebecca cruising through to the final winning her heat and semi-final before running a super final in 24.29s for the silver medal, despite suffering cramp in the warm up.

Rebecca Jeggo in action in the 200m in Sheffield at the BUCS indoor championships.

Harriers also enjoyed a busy weekend of cross-country action, retaining their North Essex and South Suffolk Cross-Country League title by finishing third in the final event of the season at a wild and windy Hadleigh.  James Morley (3rd), John Fryer (22nd), Robert Smith (27th), Russell Goodridge (36th), Jerry Walder (41st), Tim Holden (47th), Jon Battram (52nd) and David Campbell (66th) scored for the men whilst Eleanor Mayne (5th), Hanna Banks (18th), Melissa Dowell (31st) and Jenny Richardson (40th) all counted for the women.

The Harriers senior team that helped retain the North Essex and South Suffolk Cross Country League title.

The junior race saw the continued tussle between Colchester Harriers and Colchester & Tendring, the two clubs leading the way. There were solid performance from Theo Gardiner placing third, followed closely by Harrison Leek in fourth. We then saw the young guns having their own battle with James Clarke getting the better of Toby Ketterer placing 10th and 11th closely followed by another two young members with Harry Jeffery getting the better of Hayden Preston 15th and 16th, Myles Martell-Smith only in his 2nd race for the club crossed the line in 22nd the team once again was well supported by Jake Philips finishing just behind Myles.

Theo Gardiner leads the junior Harriers home at Hadleigh.

The girls have managed to win all but the first fixture but with a very depleted team it was great to see several move up to fill the gaps, Bea Sivyer having raced on Saturday turned out for the green vests on Sunday and was well pleased with her 1st place finish, Eliza Shippey improved her position to finish 6th, we then had a flood of finishers Eva Butler 11th, Sophie Bolton 12th, Isabelle Bueggeln 13th, running only her 2nd race for the club and being the youngest member Lacey Martell Smith ran a strong race to finish 28th.

Bea Sivyer was first Harrier girl home on Sunday.

Unfortunately due to the weak start in this league it wasn’t enough to overcome CATS who won the junior shield this season.

The previous day at Writtle University College had seen the Harriers competing in the final fixture of the Essex Cross-Country League. With a good turnout, in similar gale force conditions, and some excellent performances helping both men and women secure their top division status for next season.  Women scorers were Lydia Callan (7th), Denise Morley (15th), Becky Cooke (17th) and Ellie Cumner (28th) with Jordan Middlemist (11th), Chris Sellens (28th), Jon Nears (45th), Colin Ridley (50th), Kevin Higgins (62nd) and Paul Spowage (71st) all counting for the men. 

However, it was promising youngster Lyla Belshaw who stole the show, winning the U15 Girls’ race to cap an excellent cross-country season and take the individual award for the season. Lyla Belshaw was a comfortable winner, 64s in front of the second place runner. This win also gave Lyla the overall win having won all four races that she took part in. Bea Sivyer also competing in the U15 race had a great run to finish 16th. In the U15 boys race Finley Greenleaf, having only just recently recovering from Covid, placed a creditable 25th.

In the U17/20 women’s race Lizzie Wellsted running her first Essex League race of the season after a lengthy absence saw her take on some of the best that Essex has to offer. Lizzie was the first under 17 athlete to cross the line in a fantastic second place not far behind Basildon AC’s under 20 athlete Megan Harris who finished fourth in the Southern XC U20 championships this January. It’s a shame that Lizzie missed so many key races as I’m sure she would have been part of the Essex county team competing at the Inter counties and Essex Schools team competing in Kent. It all bodes well for this talented young Harrier next season.

Finally, enjoying somewhat warmer and calmer conditions, Tom Cresswell ran 2:48:12 to record a PB at the Seville Marathon with Victoria Primmer clocking 18:50 (PB) to finish second in the 5K event run on the eve of the race.