STANFORD’S Hayley McLean’s winter season just got better as she took gold at the women’s under-20 400 metre champs in Birmingham.nThe Chelmsford AC athlete clocked a personal best of 55.19s.
The England Athletics indoor championships were held at National Indoor Arena Birmingham over two days and local Thurrock Harrier James Pearson attended. Multi-eventer James came away with two medals from the national championships.
ON Saturday a handful of young Harriers competed at Lee Valley in the South East Pentathlon. They all worked really hard throughout the course of the day and enjoyed an exhausting and challenging day. Seniz Jessiner really pushed herself during her 1st competition with solid performances in high jump (1.26m) and long jump (3.61m). Liam Barnard ran a great 60m hurdles with a personal best time of 11.34s. Liam also ran an extremely gutsy 800m and another pb of 2:50.86s.
JON Metcalf proved his amazing versatility at the weekend by winning the 400m race at the London Indoor Games just a fortnight after picking up his medal in the over 50s section for the Essex Cross Country League. Jon judged his effort well and recorded 60.04 to beat several younger competitors. On the following day he recorded 2m14.8s on the 800m. Although pleased with this time Jon felt he could have judged his race tactics better.
WHEN in future tough cross country courses are discussed wizened old runners will say: ‘Ah! but did you do Hadleigh in 2013’. Hadleigh Downs is a tough undulating course at any time of the year but on Saturday the treacherous uphill and downhill stretches were punctuated by ankle deep, glutenous mud. Falls were frequent, shoes were lost and scrambling on all fours a common sight. Nonetheless hundreds of runners finished and these included 30 Thurrock Harriers.
THURROCK’S seniors were again out in force for the 4th round of the Essex Cross Country League at Basildon on Saturday.
Best performance of the day came from 41 year old Scott Rice who in finishing in 30th place beat the newly crowned Essex veteran’s cross country champion Alan Smalls of Colchester.
TWENTY one of Thurrock Harriers’ veteran athletes completed the tough 5 mile cross country course at Claybury on Saturday. They were competing for the Essex Veterans Cross Country Championship. Best effort, among many good performances, came from Grays based Scott Rice. He took the silver medal in the 40+ race in what was a very strong field.
THE stormy overnight weather relented in time, for the start of the Chelmsford 10K on Sunday afternoon. The very fast course allowed 6 of Thurrock’s 11 athletes to produce personal bests, the other 5 ran close to their best.
Stars of the whole proceedings was the women’s team. Individually Toni Noble clinched her Grand Prix medals, silver in the V35 age group and bronze overall. These medals are given for the aggregate performance over the 6 road race championships held in the calendar year and are hotly contested by the road running fraternity.
THE muddy grasslands of Hylands Park played host to the third round of the Essex Cross Country League on Saturday. Thurrock’s senior men were again out in force, 14 of them finishing the race. The six in the scoring team were led in again by Alex Houghton, although troubled by a sore achilles tendon finishing in 17th place.
HEAVY rain, flooded country lanes and cross winds greeted Thurrock’s 12 competitors who turned up for the Billericay 10K on Sunday. Nearly 600 finished the race despite the horrendous conditions.
ONE of Thurrock’s leading V40, John Green, competed in the Amsterdam Marathon in very windy conditions returned a time of 2hr58m32s. His twin brother, Paul, returned a time of 3hr7m56s.
ONE of the founder members of Thurrock Harriers, Ken Batty, died on Sunday aged 84.
Back in 1949 Clement Attlee was Prime Minister and the National Health Service was just 1 year old and Ken Batty had just finished his National Service. Like many of his generation National Service had interested him in many new activities amongst them running.
THE Senior Men’s team management were jubilant at the excellent start made by the team in round 1 of the Essex Cross Country League. It was held at Braintree on Saturday and 25 teams are now competing in it.
Alex Houghton finished 3rd which is the highest position achieved by a Harrier for some years. At the end of the first half of the race Alex was in 10th position but he moved through smoothly over the last mile, losing out only to McCauley Delo of Suffolk and Grant Twist of Chelmsford, but in front of many County class athletes.
The Essex Cross Country Relay Championships were held at Hadleigh Park on Saturday. Over the gruelling 5k around the Hadleigh Downs course the Harriers entered several teams. The top effort came from the senior men who finished 4th in their 4 stage event. They fielded top veteran Scott Rice on the first stage. This is certainly not his favourite course but he battled through to 9th place in the 25 starters with a time of 19m07s.
THURROCK Harrier athletes took to the track and field for the Southend Open meet and came away with a fantastic haul of medals and a few personal best performances as well.
CLUB-THROWER Gemma Prescott fulfilled a dream of a lifetime by winning a Bronze at the event at the Paralympics on Saturday. Gemma threw a personal best of 20.50 to grab the bronze. Gemma told Channel 4: “That was an amazing experience; I knew I had to go out there and PB to win an medal. I’m delighted”
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.
AS part of our Olympic legacy series, YourThurrock went along to Thurrock Harriers in Blackshots to see how aspiring athletes and/or joggers could join the club.
In the latest edition, held last Wednesday, 180 started including several Harriers. Dennis Cross was always to the fore and by half way he had taken a good lead. On tough last one mile, all uphill, he held on to win by 13 seconds.
ONE of the Club’s stalwarts, Don Lawless, excelled himself in the recent National Veterans Track and Field Championships. He took the bronze medal in the V45 category Steeplechase. As competitive as ever, the Purfleet based athlete just missed out on selection for the Scottish Cross Country Team when he was in his 20s.
The team has shown great fighting spirit this year right through from the 15 year olds to the veterans. In spite of this excellent team performance the team dropped to 8th place which equals their best ever finish made 20 years ago.
THURROCK Harriers are proud to be reviving the Mel Batty road race this year in memory of the late Mel Batty who passed away last September. Mel was a talented and deicated athlete who broke the 10 miles world record way back in 1964 with a time of 47 minutes and 26.8 seconds.
The 800m relay was very exciting with the U13G finishing in 4th and the final race of the evening was for the U15 boys medley relay which consisted of 800m, 300m, 300m, 200m. This was probably the most challenging race of the evening with the rain lashing down Tyler Chu ran a very impressive 1st lap in the 800m, however an injury he had sustained earlier in the day made every step of the 2nd lap extremely painful.
FORMER GRAYS Convent student, Jessica Judd produced a sensational run last night (Thursday) in the 800 metres to win a silver medal at the World Junior champs in Barcelona.