Saturday morning saw a proper November’s day it was grey and raining so what could you be better up to than running the Essex Cross Country Vets Championships at Hilly Fields in Colchester? That’s was what 16 intrepid club runners did; we also had Phil Presland marshalling for the senior races a spot that Vicky also took for the junior races earlier in the day. The name “Hilly Fields” suggests that there may be some inclines to deal with and this was the case, the course of about 4.5 miles included 2 trips up “Obelisk” Hill which many of you will be “fond” of if you have taken part in one of Ben Ficken’s hill sessions – the trip this time wasn’t only to the “Obelisk” it took you all the way to the top!
We had 8 ladies that took part in 3 age category races (within the one race – stay with me!); the V35 category had a total of 39 runners with Gemma Camp (35:14 and 19th) our first lady home in this category followed by Vicky Presland (37:32 and 27th) who was looking strong at the finish on her return from injury, Anthea Colsell (38:24 and 31st) and Caroline Searle (41:53 and 35th). In the V45 category, which had 58 runners, our first lady home (and the first of our ladies overall) was Eileen Shadford (35:00 and 21st) followed by Tricia Stacey (37:36 and 28th) and Anna Young (41:30 and 47th). In the V55 category Fiona Gosling finished 8th out of 19 runners in 40:46. This gave our ladies 2 teams in the team event and out of 23 teams they finished 9th and 17th which is a brilliant result.
In the mens V50+ category we had 2 runners who ran the course at the same time as the Female Vets so there was actually 4 races in 1 race at one stage….who said Cross Country was just about turning up and running? Anyway, there were 86 runners in the mens V50+ field which saw Brian Telford (38:22 and 78th) and Dave Jones (43:10 and 84th) have a couple of strong runs. In the male Vets 40 category which was the final race of the day there were 102 runners and 6 blue vests. David Wright was first man home in 28:25 and 34th place with Charlie Keitch (28:53 and 40th) not far behind. Our representation was completed by Paul Connell (30:21 and 59th), Matt Laverick (31:58 and 73rd), Paul Hollidge (32:15 and 75th) and Scott Young (35:51 and 91st). The men’s team event saw a total of 18 team scores recorded with our men recording 11th place.
This was a great event and was well organised and run on a pretty tough course (which for the Essex Championships you would expect) which was really enjoyable. The Open event is run in the New year and Vicky is after your names if you want to take part.
[Debs, Paul and Matt “show off” the GBRC tent at the Vets XC]
Earlier last week Matt Jones ran the Hugin Challenge which is a lapped event at Pegwell Bay. Matt completed 9 laps of the course which passed the Hugin Viking longship each lap. The lap was 3.28 miles so Matt did a marathon and more with a distance totalling 29.52 miles.
Saturday saw the usual parkruns take place Andrew Hart completes the Moors Valley parkrun in the New Forest finishing 10th in 20:25. Despite the rain around 200 runners and 30 dogs took part. Stepping just outside the normal local events were Rob Dyer who visited Chelmsford and ran 28:46 and Ben Ficken and Janice who crossed the border into Suffolk to run Ipswich in 21:37.
We had 8 runners at Castle Park this week Russell Clarke (21:43) leading the way followed by Andy Stephens (23:02), James McCullough (23:49), Mags Komorowska (25:00), Nick Goodman (25:14), Stephen Walsh (25:37), Luke Groves (26:35) and Stephanie Mills (27:11). On the seafront at Harwich we saw Emily Zethraeus finish as 1st lady (21:24) and Cherie Hopkins (32:19) whilst at Clacton Ray Baggs finished 2nd (19:39) with Kevin (23:31) and Sandra (35:49) James completing this weeks lineup.
Sunday morning saw Angel Jasper run another Junior Parkrun around Colchester Rec in 10:15.
Before I sign off this week I would like to tip my hat to the winners of the “voted” awards at our superb awards night on Saturday. Our runners of the year were Tim Ballard and Eileen Shadford both of which were richly deserved. Our Male veteran was none other than Eric Shaw with Eileen doubly up with the female veteran award. Our most improved runners were Paul Hollidge and Mags Komorowska with Tim Ballard bagging the male performance award and Janine Simpson the ladies performance.
Our best newcomers were Dave Jones and Teresa Jones who have both managed to get loads of running into their first year with us. Finally, it was great to see Paul Carlisle pick up the club person of the year he always seems to be doing something for the club. Well done to everyone who pick up and award or a club championship.
[Eileen and Tim pick up their runners of the year awards]