Athletics: Veterans show clean pair of heels

THURROCK’S golden oldies were out in force in the 2nd round of the Essex Cross Country League. The tough course, over the Gloucester Park Hill, didn’t deter them from putting in some great performances. Scott Rice finished 16th in the 180 strong field. He was the second 40+ runner being beaten by the reigning county veteran cross country champion Alan Smalls from Colchester.

Behind him were last years silver and bronze medallists. In the 50+ section Thurrock’s Eamonn Shelley now tops the league. In the fact race he finished 2nd to Chelmsford’s Bridgeland who did not run this time. This opened the door for a victory performance from Eamonn.

Just behind him was Orsett based Jon Metcalf who finished 3rd in round 1 and 2nd on this occasion. He too is in a good position to achieve a podium position by the end of the season. In the 60+ section Michael Bumstead was Saturday’s victor beating the winner of the 1st race by about a minute.

If Mick’s fragile Achilles tendon holds out he is bound to win this section come the end of the season. These four athletes together with Pat Dobbs, who is the reigning county 70+ champion, make a formidable squad which will tackle next months county championships.

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