Thurrock Harriers enter the Winter season in a stronger position than for some years. This is because two Grays boys have returned from a 4 year stint at Warwick University. Alex and Nick Houghton have shown promise in middle and long distance running since the age of 14 and now after a distinguished 4 years at University they are back in Grays and running better than ever. On Saturday Nick finished 14th and Alex 16th in the first round of the Essex Cross Country League. These races atrract only the best runners in the County so the quality of their performance was exceptional. An equally fine performance came from Grays based Scott Rice.
In finishing 19th in the race overall he was 2nd in the 40+ veterans section beating a former veterans champion in the process. Jon Metcalf, from Orsett, finished 3rd in the 50+ age group section. Jon is primarily a track runner and finds anything over 2 miles something of a challenge but he has considerable natural ability for running which enables him to perform at a good level at distances up to 10k. The team finished 4th in the 24 team league a good start to a long winter season.
Star of the younger age groups was Gemma Holloway. She has emerged slowly over the Summer to become a leading light in her age group in the County. On Saturday she won the under 15 girls race with considerable ease and has her sights set on regional and national championships. Gemma lives in Grays and attends William Edwards Sports College.