THURROCK’S senior women’s team produced a good performance in the County Cross Country Championships led in by reigning champion Joanne Wilkinson who was third but the whole team rose to the occasion.
Joanne, who ran for the club until she was 25, has since travelled widely with her RAF officer husband and has run for Paula Radcliffe’s Club, Bedford and County.
She is a track, road and cross country International but has kept her links with the County and Thurrock Harriers. She is recovering from a debilitating ear infection and on Saturday was some way off her best form. However, she ran strongly to finish third behind fellow Internationals Gemma Kersey and Faye Fullerton.
Behind her Toni Noble, in her first race for nearly a year, displayed excellent form. She finished 33rd, just behind her long time rival Fiona Halls. Hopefully Toni can now keep fit for the 2014 set of road races. Jodie Farrell, still improving, ran a fine race to finish 38th.
She and Toni can form the basis of a very strong team for future championship races. Amy Trencher was 45th and continues to improve. She finished amongst athletes who would expect to do faster than 43 minutes for a 10k. This was her best race for the club so far. Victoria Peacock (56th) and Sam Tuck (68th) each produced good runs.
Alec Finch made the county team in the under 20 age group by finishing seventh. The Loughborough University student has put in some good training in recent weeks and should flourish over the rest of the winter season.
A weakened senior men’s team finished 12th in the 22 teams that closed in. Alex Houghton (39th) and Scott Rice (52nd) ran to form and made a solid base for the rest of the team.
Antony Tobin had his best ever cross-country race to finish 77th. Mick Bumstead, now 62 years old, showed a clean pair of heels to more than half the field to finish 92nd.
Martin Mack also produced his best run for the club to finish 97th.
Mark Tobin, who ran as a guest, finished 136th. Nigel Instance 142nd and Bernie Johnson 148th completed the Club’s contingent. This week all sections of the club take on the 4th round of the Essex League at Greensward School in Hockley.