Athletics: Veterans show a touch of class for Harriers

Thurrock’s distance veteran runners are in the middle of preparing for the county cross championships in early December. They will be looking for medals in all age groups. Odds on favourite for the 70+ race is the indefatigable Pat Dobbs who has won all the road championships except the marathon. At this distance he is the current London marathon champion for his age group.

The 50+ section is the Harrier’s strong suit. Led by 2010 national 800 and 1500 metres champion, Jon Metcalf, and the in form cross country specialist, Eamonn Shelley, they have strength in depth. Mick Bumpstead now 60+ has won every county road championship that is going and after a long injury is returning to form. Phil Oatham, Roy Aspinall, Steve Kemp, Bernie Johnson and Rob Russell are experienced campaigners to back up those leading lights. In the 40+ section, Scott Rice looks capable of the top 5 placing and he will have strong backing from John Green, Dave Marchant, Don Lawless, Gary Mills and several others.

Not to be outdone the ladies can also contend for medals. Former international Tracey Swindell is running and will have strong support from Toni Noble, Silvia Meradith, Sarah Eves, Michelle Henderson and Victoria Peacock.

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