Sunday, March 3, 2024

Athletics: Inaugural Mel Batty 10K a great success

The inaugural Mel Batty 10K proved a great success when it was held round the streets of North Grays and Orsett on Sunday. 146 entered the race and 120 finished. The front of the field was of the highest quality. The race was won by Paul Martelletti of Victoria Park Harrier who won in the excellent time of 30m40s.

In spite of his Club and his name Paul is from New Zealand and could make that country’s Commonwealth
Games Team running in the Marathon. Runner up was Adam Hickey from Southend AC who was coached by Mel until he died. Adam’s time was 30m54s. In 3rd place was the Thurrock Harriers Alex Houghton who can be
delighted with his 34m12s time which was very close to his best.

John Green was the next Harrier to finish in a time of 36m52s and he also took the first place in the M40 category. Dennis Cross ran to an excellent 10th place and time of 36m53s. Dennis takes up his place at
UEA later this month. Completing Thurrock’s winning team was Don Lawless in a time of 38m10s. David Johnson was just behind him in 16th place in 38m15s. In 17th and 18th place came Justin Renda and Anthony
Tobin both of whom returned personal bests. Justin’s was an excellent 39m32s whilst Anthony’s was an improvement of 54s down to 39m35s.

Other good runs came from Jason Syrett (39m50s), Paul Bumstead (40m25s), Martyn Staines (40m44s), Nigel Instance (41m49s), John Russell (42m24s), Gary Bangs (43m43s), Liam Appleyard (43m51s) John Arthur (44m45s) and Pat Dobbs (49m43s).

The women’s race was won by Kerry Holland of Southend AC in 39m37s. Behind her came 2 Harriers, Tracy Swindell (41m02s) running in the Harriers colours for this race only for sentimental reasons as she is
now first claim for Benfleet Runners. Tracy won the V45 section. Behind her and rather strangely winning the V35 section was Toni Noble (41m17s). Winner of the V55 section was Corringham resident Linda
Dutton, a former member of the Harriers.

Dave Cox was the first Thurrock Nomad to finish in a time of 42m12s and Erica Ryder of the Nomads was an excellent 6th place in the ladies race and runner up in the V45 section.

The race organisers, members of Thurrock’s senior men’s section, were pleased with the outcome of their efforts and have been encouraged to stage the race at the same time next year and hopefully with the experience gained we will build up the numbers taking part in the event.

The club would like to thank the dozens of people who turned up to support the organisation of the event. The race needed over 40 marshals, many from Mel’s family, and a further 20 people performing other functions to enable the race to run smoothly.


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