There’s really only one place to start this week and it is Sunday’s wet and windy Essex 20 which is one of those races that people like to do as they build up the mileage for those Spring marathons. Ryan Day showed that there was only one way to celebrate being voted the clubs XC runner of the year and that is to bag a Silver Standard at his first 20 mile race. day completed the course in a super speedy time of 2:15:43. Also claiming club standards for the men were Lee Clarkson who recorded a massive 23 minute PB finishing in 2:34:30 and Paul Davidson who broke the tape in 2:37:38 which resulted in Bronze standards for both of them. Patrick Reynolds (2:51:35) and Paul Hollidge (3:07:47) completed the men’s line up.
For the ladies there were also plenty PB’s and standards too Toni Wilson missed a Diamond standard by only 13 seconds but a Gold standard is a great reward for a time of 3:03:13. Meera Rajoo-Oakley continues to put in some blistering performances and finished in 2:42:34 on Sunday which is a Silver standard run. Setting a PB of 6 and a half minutes is no mean feat but Debs Cubberley had to be cajoled to toe the line and was feeling decided worse for wear on the second lap, she finished in 3:07:47. Back after a period on the injury list was Karen Skene (3:18:02), she was tempted into the race by Gemma Colling who also had a strong race finishing in 3:21:54. Well done to everyone those conditions on Sunday were challenging to say the least!
Over at Hockley Woods in Essex was a trail run of a 3.3 mile loop, runners were challenged to see how many laps of the course they could complete. Jack Wicks, Louise Upston and Luke Groves all complete 6 loops in a time of 4 hours and 56 minutes which included some snack breaks which were particularly welcome on the hilly and muddy course. John Bush completed 5 of the laps in a time of 4:05:55, strangely Mark Crittenden was seen running without his timekeeper “Tom” (whoever he is!), Mark completed his goal of 10 miles doing 3 laps of the course. Its worth noting that both jack and Louise had their longest ever runs at the Woods – well done to you both.
So onto the “odder” events of the weekend which saw Katie and Vicky Presland take on the 5k “Blitz Me Fit” extreme obstacle challenge at Thorndon Country Park at Brentwood, based on the “after” photos there was mud galore on this course. Ben Finken decided that it was time that Janice upped her game and entered the duo for the Nelson’s Knee Knobler cani-cross race which saw Janice double her distance from 5 to 10k. Despite being handicapped by Ben, Janice completed the 10k in a super time of 48:15.
Finally, Saturday saw a reduced turnout at various Parkrun events around the county. Running lone furrows were Louise Upston; 28:11 at Basildon; and Cherie Hipkins 26:19 at Harwich. There were 7 runners at Clacton seafront Patrick Reynolds (21:30), Kevin James (23:02), Brian Telford (23:28), Scott Young (23:59), Davina Swindell (25:55), Rob Thorpe (30:55) and Sandra James (33:52). Whilst at Colchester Castle Park we had 4 runners Rich Moor (20:18), Anna Mills (24:21), Belinda Palmer-Barnes (29:50) and Ruth Metcalf (39:02). After being close a few times Milly Presland was the first lady home at Colchester on Saturday in a swift 21:01. Sunday saw Junior Parkrun at Colchester where Megan “Minion” Hughes (11:14) and sister Caitlyn (12:07) completed the 2k run.