Weekend of racing
There were several races this weekend where Striders took part.
33 Striders (or it could be more if the results didn’t show you were a Strider!) took part in the Brentwood Half Marathon, which had a total of 2509 runners and is a popular local, reasonably flat race through the villages near to Brentwood. Some years the weather had not been in the runners’ favour but this year it remained dry and cool, so good conditions. For the results and times I am going by the chip position.
First Strider home was Paul Anderson in 23rdin a time of 1.18.56 and he was followed by James Wright in 25th, Stuart Raven in 26th,Tom Gunning in 52ndand Nikki Brockbank in 55thand together they made the third winning team – in this race the men and ladies are counted as a team. Nikki was pleased with 3rdlady in 1.23.54 as she had been suffering from a sore throat all week.
Well done to everyone who ran, to those who got PBs and to those who braved the cold and supported! Full results are available on the Brentwood Half website and there are several photos on Facebook taken by the support team at Blackmore.
Five Striders travelled to Reading for the Reading half marathon. Mark Newton was first strider in 1.12.40 and 92ndplace and was followed by James Smith in 162ndand 1.15.49. The difference in placing between this and Brentwood can be easily seen here; if Mark ran Brentwood in this time he would probably be third at least. Also running were Lee Martin, Steven Armitage and Faye Skinner.
Up in Norfolk the Dream Team, Gav Allen and Tom Cammack took part in the Wymondham 20. Tom was 4thin a time of 1.59 and Gav 6thin 2.02. Gavin won the 1stMV40 in this race.
Malcolm Savage was the lone Strider at a half marathon in Stowmarket, Suffolk. He maintained his form by taking the MV65 prize (and also beat the MV60 time!) in 1.34.29.
Russell Davies made a fine debut at the Eastleigh 10km clocking 35.26.
And guess what? This weekend Paul Bridges did 4 Enigma marathons in a row, on a Thursday through to Sunday. His times were 3.49.56, 3.45.50, 3.37.15 and 3.35.52 so each day he got quicker! Well done!
Essex 20 winners
44 Striders took part in the Essex 20, near to Colchester on Sunday. This race is very popular with those who are training for a spring marathon so there will always be a strong Strider presence. It is also the Essex 20 mile championship race. It is a low key, low entry fee race with no bells and whistles and a thoroughly old school and three lap run from Langham village hall.
The winner was Paul Molyneux, making a now rare appearance for the club, in 1hr 45, almost 10 minutes ahead of the second placed runner, a course record, fastest in the country this year so far and he is the 2015 Essex 20 mile male champion! Wow! Well done Paul. With Mark Newton in 4th and Tom Cammack 8th, the men clinched the men’s team trophy. Gary Rayner was the men’s v60 winner. Gavin Allen won male v40 silver.
The unstoppable Nikki Brockbank was first female and first v35 female in 2hr 13 and is the Essex 20 mile female champion and got a PB to boot. And is the 6th fastest lady at this distance in the country so far this year. Well done Nikki. The ladies team of Nikki, Samantha Monk and Catherine Hull won the ladies team silver.
There was a raft of PBs, 31 in total for Striders, so well done everyone who achieved a PB. There are too many to mention here.
A quiet weekend for racing which may have been due to the Annual Striders Dinner Dance on Saturday night!
However, some members ensured they were race ready for the Roding Valley Half held at Chigwell.
Paul Anderson ran a sound 1.24.36 and Vic Curren was 8thlady in 1.39.13, which was slightly faster than she expected. Dave Littleson also ran a solid 1.54.49.
Despite enjoying himself at the dinner dance, Paul Bridges did, yes you’ve guessed it, another marathon (no 63) with several other Striders! The low key and relaxed Thaxted Trail Marathon may be a perfect race after a night out and takes runners through Saffron Walden and past Audley End House. Robin Hay was first Strider in 4.30. Darran Hull obviously ran with Paul B in 4.55; Julian Catmull, Ian Brazier, Jon Legge and Robert Armstrong also took part.
There was also a Thaxted Trail half marathon option taken by three Striders. Roger Gooding came in 3rdwith Andy Kettles 11thand Richard Taylor 29th.
Mid Essex winners!
The main event for this weekend was the Striders’ own XC at Highwood on Sunday; the last Mid Essex fixture of the season. Although the weather was bright and sunny, a brisk wind kept runners on their toes.
A disappointing ladies turnout again with only 4 runners in contention. Kerry Marsh was first lady Strider in a well-deserved 10th and Kerry was followed by Elaine Tribley in 19th and Kirsty Williams in 23rd. Sarah Knowles started the course but had to give up after 3 miles due to shoe issues…. The ladies therefore finished 4th overall in the league.
A strong turnout from the men, however, with 6 Strider finishers in the top 10. A bearded Tom Cammack led the way by coming first and was followed by James Smith 3rd, Gary Chandler 4th, Mark Edwards 7th, Paul Dobson 8th and Gavin Allen 9th. The scoring team was completed by Steve Moore in 14th. This sterling effort meant that the men were joint first in the league with LOSS. Well done men!
Saturday was the National XC Championships at Parliament Hill, London. This course is always challenging, especially due to the huge hill at the start, and the varying types of mud, sometimes ankle deep, throughout the course. Seven ladies ran this challenging course for the Striders and 865 women ran in total from clubs around the country.
Rebecca Pittman was first lady Strider in 400, followed by Kerry Marsh 543, Elaine Tribley 658, Caroline Adlem 727, Sharon Bannister 750, Sarah Goodwin 822 and Charlotte Laurence 836.
Eight men ran for the striders; it would have been nine but Paul Jeggo had to pull out once started due to injury. A total of 2005 men ran which must have been a great sight at the start.
First Strider man was Mark Edwards in 551, followed by Stuart Raven 670, Antony Goodall 1048, Anthony Marsh 1174, Phil Watts 1375, Jon Byford 14
64, Andy Stroud 1581 and Pat Knowles1979.
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