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EventFelixstowe Coastal 10 mile
ReportWith a good number of runners otherwise occupied by the Round Norfolk Relay, only a couple of members of Harwich Runners made the trip to Felixstowe for their annual 10 mile race. There was considerable success for Matthew Friend who finished 4th overall in a field of 452 runners in a time of 58 minutes 16 seconds. This represented an improvement of 4 minutes from his previous best time at Great Bentley last year. Also Friend became only the third member of the club, after Stephen Peck and Rob Reason, to complete a race of this distance in under an hour since 2015. The other member of Harwich Runners in action was Phil Sanderson, competing his third race over the distance in the last 10 months and, with a very similar time to his previous two efforts, he finished in 78m 38s.
EventHarwich 5k Series 5
ReportDuring the Harwich 5km series this summer the famous seafront wind had been conspicuous by it’s absence. It waited until the final race to make an appearance and really made it’s presence known. This made for an interesting race with runners able to produce a quick first half of the race followed by a battle into the wind on the way back. As a result only 6 of the 146 runners managed to beat their predicted time. The winner is the runner who manages to do that by the biggest margin and on this occasion it was Edmund Beaton, closely followed by Christopher Tye. 64 of the runners came from host club Harwich and in stark contrast to the previous 4 races in the series there was only one personal best recorded. That honour fell to Martha Spooner who joined the club this year and has steadily improved with each race, moving from 42 minutes 58 seconds in race 1 to 40m 11s in this last race. Whilst there were no other personal bests or even season bests there were a few others who came close. In form Claire Bransby ran 24m 8s, Ian Cannons 22m 31s, Julian Cordwell 30m 16s and Tanya Cane with 28m 35s were all close to their season best times. Also putting in strong performances were Richard Newman, Michelle Cooper-Keeble and Steve Manley. Simon Day remarkably managed to run inside 19 minutes despite having completed a marathon run in less than 3 hours only a couple of days previously. Fastest time on the night was recorded by Danny Millward of Colchester who managed a decent 17m 4s in the testing conditions. Fastest lady was Emma Drury of Sudbury who posted 19m 56s. With points awarded depending on finish positions the overall winner has now been determined. This year following an impressive return to form, Jason Meachen was the series winner. He started with a 20m 39s run in race 2 and improved to post two sub 19 minute times in the final two races. Claire Bransby was the leading female points scorer, just ahead of Harwich Runner newcomer Louise Brundle. 259 runners took part in at least one race with 66 completing all 5 of the runs between May and July Rob Reason posted the fastest time of the series with his impressive 16m 32s in race 4.. In the accompanying Junior race, run over a 1 mile distance with the youngsters trying to beat their predicted times, the winner was James Clarke whose rapid time of 6m 56s pulled him clear of second placed Mistie Henington and third placed Caitlin Harrison. Fastest girl on the night was Daisy Ward who ran her mile in 7m 8s whilst the fastest boy was Archie Henington in 6m 18s. 48 Juniors took part in at least one race and the overall winners of the series were Bertie Lewis and Alexandra Burls.
EventIpswich Twilight 10k
ReportLast Friday a few runners from Harwich were among those in a very high quality field at the Ipswich Twilight 10k race. There was success for Becky McCorquodale who was first in her FV45 age group in 44m 18s. Also victorious was Madeline Lewis who won the Fv40 category in 45m 46s. Andrew Williamson managed a personal best time of 43m 56s, his second PB of the week, with other notable outings from Justin Cooper-Keeble, Alan Gardner and Karl Leach
EventSummer Handicap Race
ReportLast week saw members of Harwich Runners test themselves over a couple of different distances. The first race was a 5 mile handicap race at Lawford for club members only. With runners trying to beat carefully calculated predicted times, the overall winner was the runner who beat that time by the most. This year the win was claimed by Jez Downs who arrived at the finish line first. His time of 38 minutes 59 seconds was also quicker than his previous best time set at Wix two years ago. Returning from injury Paul Brown was second with Niall Burke taking an impressive third. Despite the warm conditions there were a few personal best times set and some other notable performances. Quickest runner on the night was Matthew Friend who improved his own previous best time by 7 seconds to post 29m 2s around the lanes behind Lawford. Next quickest was Steve Cooper in 29m 5s with Graeme Knott completing the top 3 with a time of 29m 17s. There were also new personal best times recorded by Alan Gardner (35m 29s), Trevor Lewis (36m 20s), Steve Manley (39m 59s) and Muriel Lovering (42m 45s). Others completing the distance faster than ever before were Victoria McCrea (41m 18s), Rebecca McCrea (48m 21s) and Kelly Peck (47m 51s). Karen Stapleton matched her previous best of 37m 55s and was third fastest lady behind Becky McCorquodale (36m 32s) and Madeline Lewis (35m 46s). Jason Meachen’s time of 30m 54s was his fastest over 5 miles since 2012 whilst Simon Harrison managed his quickest time since Wix in 2015. Simon Day ran 30 minutes exactly whilst other strong performers were Ian Bolton, Claire Bransby and Anne Herbert. Among those making their debut at the event were Andrew Williamson, who managed a new personal best, Claire Coe, Heidi Seddon and Matthew Pumfrey.
EventBrantham Friday Five
ReportOn an interesting multi-terrain course at Brantham Rob Reason came home in first place overall. A previous winner, Reason finished 20 seconds clear of anyone else in a time of 27m 58s. Andrew Williamson, Alan Gardner and Phil Sanderson all finished inside the top 50 of a 213 strong field. Also going well on this tricky course were Matthew Pumfrey (36m 47s), Ian Bolton (40m 22s) and Matt Doran (40m 57s)
EventEkiden Relay
ReportOne of the biggest events in the running calendar is the Ekiden race held at Woodbridge School and hosted by Ipswich Jaffa. The event consisted of 202 teams of 6 runners each covering a marathon distance of 26. 2 miles or 42 .2 kilometres. Making this distance up were two 10km legs, three 5km legs and a 7.2km leg. Harwich Runners entered 8 teams, all of whom were delighted to find that the day of the event wasn’t as oppressively hot as it had been for the previous two years of this event.. The Ladies V35 team did exceptionally well, finishing 2nd in their category completing the marathon distance in 3 hours 22 minutes and 31 seconds. Karen Stapleton led the team out with the 7.2km leg in a good 33m 16s. Nicola Challis put in a strong 5km leg (23m 13s) and was followed by another good outing from Madeline Lewis (45m 52s). At this stage the team had led the category for a good part of the race but were very tight with hosts Ipswich. Further 5km legs from Carrie Hook and Muriel Lovering were added to by a solid 10km from Becky McCorquodale (46m 58s) and the team finished a close second. The Mens V40 team also came second in their category behind Colchester. In fact they were second throughout the race thanks to a number of strong performances. Simon Day was 15th fastest over the opening leg of 7.2km in a good 26m 53s. Returning from injury Graeme Knott produced a solid 37m 33s for his 10km leg whilst Robin Brookes did well with 38m 15s for the same distance. Alongside these were 5km legs from Simon Harrison (18m 41s), Jason Meachen (18m 55s) and, with the 7th fastest 5km leg of the day, Steve Cooper (17m 35s) This teams combined time of 2h 37m 55s was the 8th fastest of all 202 teams competing on the day. Harwich also fielded a Mens Open team which placed 13th out of 33 in a very tough category which was won by Colchester with the quickest combined time of all teams (2h 24m 45s). Matthew Friend took on the first leg and was the 8th fastest of all runners completing the 7.2km section of the distance in 25m 39s. Archie Barrington produced a 10km time on this twisting course that was quicker than any he has manged previously (37m 28s) whilst there was a welcome return to race action for Sam Gooding-Matthews with a string 40m 14s over the same distance. Jez Downs, Niall Burke and Lee Allen completed the three 5km legs to give the team a good overall time of 2h 50m 23s. There was a Mixed Over 60s team consisting of Jeff Higgon, Peter Gooding, Kim Pretty, Anne Herbert, Dennis Warner and Elspeth Knott who combined for a very decent overall time of 3h 30m. Alongside these age specific teams, Harwich also arranged four mixed teams. The intention was for the teams to be balanced evenly to create an interesting battle between them and that certainly proved to be the case as the four teams all finished within 3 minutes of each other. Within these teams there were some standout performances including a welcome return after injury to Stephen Peck and Stuart Weaver. There were strong 10km legs from Ellie Burke (46m 32s) and Justin Burls (43m 59s) and good 5km legs from Roly Knott (26m 52s), Tony Anderson (26m 30), Sarah Roxby-Clarke (27m 24s) and Claire Bransby (24m 6s) There was also a Junior race with teams consisting of 4 runners each. Quickest lap by a Harwich Runner was by Daisy Ward but all the children ran well with notable performances from Bertie Lewis, Harry Almond, Erin Reid and Eryn Lewis.
EventHarwich 5k Series 4
ReportThe fourth race in the Harwich 5km series took place on the promenade last week. With runners trying to beat a carefully calculated predicted time, 69 of the 167 finishers managed to succeed with that target. With the overall winner being the runner who beat their predicted time by the biggest margin rewarding improvement, the winner this time was Sharon Cox. Second place went to newcomer Jay Rusecki with Harwich’s Tracey George in 3rd. 77 of the finishers were from local club Harwich Runners and, despite conditions being maybe not quite as favourable as the previous races in the series, it was good to see a healthy number of personal best times being recorded. Trevor Lewis improved by 6 seconds to 21 minutes 1 second, Nicola Challis knocked off another 14 seconds to post 22m 22s and young Harry Pitham continues to show improvement having improved a full minute from the first race to now boast a personal best of 19m 19s. Others leaving with new best times included Steve Manley (23m 43s), his third in three races, Mike Isted (25m 5s) , Karl Leach (24m 18s) and Christina Pretty (28m 36s). Some of the newer members of the club continue to progress with gains made by Tanya Cane (28m 19s), Louise Brundle (28m 34s), Martha Spooner (40m 26s), Jennifer Griffiths (32m 4s) and Alison Evans (27m 28s). Deborah Smith got her third best time in a row, as did Vhaire Stewart whilst Kathy Barfield has impressively reduced her time from 29m 9s to 28m 11s over the four races. Fastest runner on the night was Harwich’s Rob Reason who zipped round the course in a decent 16m 32s. Fastest lady was Heidi Steele of Colchester Harriers who posted 18m 36s. There were a few impressive season best times produced too. Among them a return to form for Jason Meachen (18m 50s) , Katie Holmes (24m 54s), Claire Bransby (24m 1s) and, tantalisingly close to his previous best, Robin Brookes managed 18m 9s. In the accompanying Junior run where the youngsters had to try and beat their predicted times over a 1 mile off road course, there was victory for Max Stapleton whose time of 7m 18s proved decisive. Second was Jack Manley with Eryn Lewis in third. Dalia Jaballah was the fastest girl in 7m 29s whilst the fastest overall time of any of the 27 competitors was by Peter Hughes with an impressive 6m 44s. The final race in the series takes place on Tuesday 30th July.
EventGreat Bentley Friday 5
ReportThe final race in the Friday 5 mile race series took place last week with the only Essex based race based at Great Bentley. There were 425 finishers and over 10% of them (46) were from Harwich Runners. On a warm night Personal bests were few and far between as the runners tested themselves on the country lanes around Great Bentley village. Rob Reason was the first Harwich Runner to finish; he took an excellent 5th place overall in a good time of 27 minutes 23 seconds. Next back to the finish at the village hall was Matthew Friend and he did post a new Personal Best, chipping over a minute off his previous best from last year to complete the course in an impressive 29m 9s. Archie Barrington is another in his best ever form, improving to 30m 45s this time. The fast, flat course also helped Christina Pretty (47m 11s) and Karl Leach (42m 46s) record their best ever times for this distance. Anne Herbert is running really well at the moment and finished 2nd in the FV60 category in a time of 41m 12s. There was also a strong run by Madeline Lewis whose time of 35m 47s placed her 4th in the FV40 group . Others finishing in the top 10 in their age groups were Karen Stapleton, Kim Pretty, Claire Bransby, Jeff Higgon, Sally Gillam, Valentina Burley and Jo Higgon There were a few runners making their first 5 mile appearances in a black and white vest; these included Gina Jaballah, Stuart Raffle, Jacky Lingley, Muriel Lovering and, making his step up from the juniors, Michael Knowles. Elsewhere last weekend, Claire Lawrence took on a 10km race up at Holkham. She completed the course in 64m 15s.
EventHarwich Runners Sprint Triathalon
ReportThe Harwich Sprint triathlon took place last week with 145 athletes testing themselves on the course which started and finished at Dovercourt swimming pool. Starting off with 12 lengths of the 25m pool, the action then moved on to a 24km bike leg which took in nearby Ramsey and Wrabness before finishing with a 5km run along the promenade. The quickest time of all participants was recorded by Harwich’s Gavin Race. Race was 9th fastest on the swim leg, completing the 300m distance in 4 minutes 48 seconds. He was then a narrow 2nd on the bike, just 18 seconds behind the quickest rider but then put in a decisive run, completing the 5km course quicker than anyone else in just 17m 15s. Race’s total time, including transitions was 61m 18s almost a minute faster than Euan Davies in second place. In total 23 members of Harwich Runners were among the finishers. Next quickest was Justin Burls in 8th place overall in 70m 38s who proved to be very fast on transitions between activities. There were age group wins for Justin Burls, Archie Barrington (72m 27s), Tim Brand (72m 18s), Jo Higgon (87m 33s), Elspeth Knott (80m 18s) and Jeff Higgon (82m 20s) Elspeth Knott was Harwich’s highest placed female recording an impressive total time of 80m 18s, doing especially well on the bike leg. Peter Fraser Hopewell was second in his age group (86m 38s) as were Jules Lawrence (74m 56s) and Vicky McCrea (89m 31s). Helen Benham recorded an overall time of 86m 3s in her first ever Triathlon and was also second in her age category.
EventHarwich 5k Series 3
ReportThe third race in the Harwich 5km series took place last week on the promenade. The runners were all looking to beat their respective predicted times and the pre-storm conditions proved ideal as 105 of the 178 finishers managed to do just that. The overall winner was the person who beat their estimated time by the biggest margin and on this occasion it was Claire Coe from host club Harwich. Melanie Lear was second with Daniel Holliday in third. Matthew Friend is in fine form at the moment. After clocking 17 minutes 40 seconds in the first race of the series, Friend smashed that time registering 17m 12s this time round. Archie Barrington entered the series with a best time of 18m 34s but managed to run inside 18 minutes for the very first time as a fast start saw him finish with a wonderful time of 17m 50s. Verity Webber, Claire Lawrence, Alan Gardner and Anne Herbert have registered personal best times in each of the three races in the series so far. New to the series this year, Andrew Williamson has now lowered his best time to 20m 25s whilst Matthew Pumfrey similarly now boasts a best of 20m 39s. Antony Westgate has improved to 23m 5s and Francine Battram to 29m 8s. Trevor Lewis improved by 4 seconds to 21m 7s whilst there were also personal best times for James Olley (22m 10s), Paul Smith (24m) and Karen Stapleton (22m 6s). Also running faster for this distance than ever before were Steve Manley, Karl Leach and Muriel Lovering. Valentina Burley is having a good year; she entered the series with a best time of 25m 48s and recorded 24m 42s last week. Newcomers Vhaire Stewart, Claire Coe and Louise Brundle all ran their quickest ever times whilst there were also new best times for Christina Pretty, Kelly Peck and Kathy Barfield. In total 30 of the 82 members of Harwich Runners who completed the race registered new personal best times. Fastest runner on the night was Rob Reason of Harwich who whizzed round the course in 16m 37s whilst the quickest lady on the night was Laura Shewbridge of Hadleigh in a very good 18m 19s. In the accompanying Junior race, the youngsters were also trying to beat their predicted times over a one mile course. Jack Manley managed that by the biggest margin to win the race ahead of Jude Lynch and Mistie Henington. Quickest boy on the night was Archie Henington who completed his mile in a swift 6m 10s whilst fastest girl was Harwich’s Daisy Ward who managed 7m 19s. There were series best times for many here, including Alexandria Burls, Ruby MacKillop, Dalia Jaballah and Lucy Gooding-Matthews.

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