Runners vs Riders 2019

Competitors once again battled it out for the Markham Cup  in the Annual Boxing Day Runners v Riders event at Friday Woods now in its 89th year.

Though the conditions of the extended course were challenging with a mixture of muddy Essex clay and woodland trails this seemed to have little effect on the confident cyclists who dominated the race from the start, led by the highly rated individual winner 19 year old Cameron Hurst who flew round the 4 1/2 mile course in 19m 29secs, this was the fourth time he has won this race – a unique achievement. 

The team event was also won by the cyclists who won the Markham Cup for the 18th time packing in the top ten with the scoring team of Cameron Hurst, Keith Randle 2nd in 20m 49s,  Daniel Hall 3rd in 21m 38s, Dexter Mansell-Thomas 4th in 21m 52s,  Andy Hurst 5th in 22m 22s and Tom Carson 6th in 22m 56s.

The first runner home was the gallant teenager Aidan Cahill who had a superb run with a time of 25m 03s in 11th place ably followed by Andrew Jobling 15th who tied with Cameron Humphries in 25m 45s; Tom Paley was 16th in 25m 54s; Steve Mason 20th in 26m 59s and Paul Piggot  26m 59s to complete the team.

The Ladies two lap course saw the runners pack in the top eight places led by impressive 16 year old Milly Presland who though losing her shoe on the second part of the course showed true grit and determination to finish lst in 19m 31s with the experienced Denise Morley 2nd in 19m 48s supported by excellent runs from Lizzie Wellsted 20m 05s, Laura Hillyard 20m 11s, Katherine Rigby 5th in 20m 59s, Madeleine Claydon 6th in 21m 14s, 7th was Debbie Cattermole 21m 57s and Vicky Presland 8th in 22m 58s.    The top two cyclists were Ellie Mae Pledger and Sarah Thomas 10th in 24m 51s.   There were also good runs from Sian Gifford 12th, Sam Cooper 13th, Fay Smalls 14th and Jenna Pears 15th.

In the U16’s one lap race George Davies – cyclist – looked strong finishing first with the brave runner Jamie Clarke first runner home.

In the U13’s two laps of the short course William Smith (cyclist) won the Neil Pears Trophy pacing himself to perfection to win in 7m 09s followed with great performances by Issac Starmar 2nd, Leo Morley Robertson 3rd, Daniel Cooper 4th, Connor Sharp 5th, Ava Morley Robertson 6th , Charlie Smalley 7th and Alfie Bailey 8th.

The event was well organised by Mike Pears and John Hyland and well supported by local Clubs, thanks went to all the helpers from the Colchester Rovers Club, Colchester Harriers and friends and Gt. Bentley Running Club.  Thanks was also given to the professionalism of the First Aiders and the Army for the use of Friday Woods.  The Presentation was made by Steven Pears, son of the late Neil Pears, who had  helped organise this event for many years.