Saturday, June 15, 2024

Busy weekend for Thurrock Harriers


With three key athletes competing for Southend and the British League, the senior men had to battle hard for points and victories. The field events team had a particularly gruelling day.

Michael Shortall, as always, can be relied upon to provide some cheer. He won both hurdles, took 3rd in the B 200 and triple and long jumped at his best. His contribution which included the relays was a massively valuable 19 points.

Man of the match award went to Dennis Cross. He ran a gritty 800m to finish 3rd in the B string. His time was a 3 second personal best of 2mins 7.3 seconds. He ran 4.22 for the 1500m and then somewhat reluctantly took on the 3,000m steeplechase to earn 4 points in the B string event.

Really promising 400m debut came from Karl Fearon who won with a time of 52.6. In the same event Jack Farmer ran well in the B string to record 55.2, but in a tightly contested race had to settle for 1 point.

Alec Finch chipped a few 10ths of a second off his 800m time with 2m 9.7 and gained more valuable points in the 1500m with a time of 4m 32.1.

Adam Dowman finished 3rd in the steeplechase A string in what he thought was a big personal best time of 11m 16.2 only to hear that the course was 40m short thanks to an error by the starter.

Steve Prosser and Martyn Staines each finished 2nd in their sections of the 5000m. 8 points from an event was a rarity on Saturday. It was good to see Charlie Fitt back in action picking up good points in the hurdles races and filling in where needed in various field events. His 12 point contribution proved invaluable.

Another athlete making his first appearance of the season was Chris Travis who looked a little rusty having just finished his University exams but showed enough form to show that he will be an asset for the rest of the season. His contribution to the 4 x 100m relay saw the club take 2nd place. This is the best performance by the relay team this season.

The field eventers toiled manfully all afternoon but found points difficult to come by. Veteran Mark Jenkins applied his ‘jack of all trades’ skills to the best of his ability and his best performance came in the pole vault where he cleared 2m 40. Ben Gibb, newcomer Damon Nugent, Lewis King and Jamie Kensey all worked together taking part in unfamiliar events to make sure their team stayed in contention.

Their efforts meant that Thurrock did in fact beat the home side, Windsor Slough and Eaton AC, but had to give best to Newquay, Ipswich and Bedford.


70+ veteran Pat Dobbs showed a clean pair of heels to the rest of the competitors in the Southern Veterans Track and Field Championships on Sunday. He won the age group 5K with a time of 22m 28. The indestructible Pat holds the Irish record for this event. It demonstrates the range of ability this ever present London marathoner possesses.


Thurrock fielded 7 runners in this race which boasted 1903 entrants. Pleasing run came from David Johnson whose 36m 59 gave him 13th place and was a 21 second personal best. David has been working steadily to improve for the past 2 years and is looking to step up his training for still further improvements.

On the morning after his efforts in the steeplechase at Windsor Adam Dowman ran a personal best of 38m 33 for 22nd position. Good runs came from the remaining 5 competitors John Russell was 29th in 39m 16, Phil Oatham 34th in 39m 24, Rob Russell was 46th in 40m 13, Bernie Johnson 151st in 43m 58 and Richard Herring, fresh from his marathon golfing exploits, ran 44m 41 (personal best) to finish 178th.


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