Runners vs Cyclists
The annual Boxing Day Runners v Cyclists clash over Friday Woods drew a record field of nearly 200 competitors. It was once again a triumph for the classy cyclists who took advantage of the dry conditions packing the top 13 positions before the first runner came home to maintain the Markham Cup for the 17th consecutive time, scoring 21 points to the runners 147 (lowest score wins).
Individual winner, teenager Cameron Hurst who won the race last year, showed he had lost none of his fitness as he powered around the 4 mile course in a new course record time of 16.39. His club colleague, another highly rated teenager Dexter Mansell-Thomas, worked hard to finish 2nd in 17.33 with Saul Muldoon 3rd 17.34. Excellent team packing came from cyclists Jamie Hazleton 17.41, Keith Randall 17.58 with Ollie Partner completing the cyclists team in 18.37. The first runner home was Essex County runner Jordon Rowe, home from Loughborough, looking strong throughout he came in a gallant 13th place in 20.05, Thomas Gifford another County runner who is at present based in America. showed improved form, finishing a fine second in 22.21, the third runner was the consistent Alan Smalls 23.14, Danny Millward 27th 23.58, Paul Rodgers 24.18 and International Walker Dominic King 31st in 24.32 to completed the runners team.
In the Ladies a determined Sarah Thomas came home a gallant 1st for the cyclists in 16.04, with good work coming from runners Denise Morley 2nd 19.13, Rebecca Cooke 3rd 19.23, Laura Hillyard 4th 19.48, Lynn Higgs 5th 20mins, included in the top 10 were Ellie Cumner 7th 21.32, Percival Borley 8th 22.07, Georgina Sturgeon 9th 22.10 and Lydia Cunningham 23.37.
In the Under 15 – one lap race – Oliver Wellsted cyclist gave a good account of himself with an impressive win in 8min 20, followed closely by his team colleagues Jack Letch 2nd 8.30 and Max Avery 3rd 8.38, first girl home was a determined run by young Milly Presland 4th 9.06 and Madeline Claydon 5th 10.11.
In the U13 short two lap race there was a fine effort by the following Lee Robertson 1st runner 7.17; Jamie Derick 2nd (cyclist) 7.36., Heath Thomas © 3rd 8.09, Chloe Ollett © 4th 13.05, Phebe Ollett ©5th 13.06 and Alfie Bailey 6th runner 16.02.
Diana Wooler, Essex President Elect, presented the trophies. Event co-ordinator John Hyland thanked the Army for the use of Friday Woods especially Major Gurung who was invited to come along to start the race. There was also thanks to Roger Alexander, all the Marshalls and officials who helped to make the event a huge success.