Thursday, November 23, 2017
   
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Winter racing

The Essex league XC fixture at Abbeyfields was moved from Saturday to Sunday this weekend just gone; however, a great proportion of Striders had already signed up for the Great Bentley half marathon.

Despite this, we managed to get 2 scoring teams out which meant that at the end of the Essex League season, both women’s and men’s teams remain in Division 1. It should also be noted that the Vet Women finished 3rd overall, with the Vet Men placing 7th.

The men running were Scott Dryden 45th, Steve Moore 52nd, Gary Robins 74th, Mark Jeffrey 84th, Rob Hogan 86th, Ian Brazier 115th. The ladies were Sarah Colbert 24th, Allison Gillan 45th, Kirsty Williams 47th, Karen Chapman 50th, and Elaine Tribley 54th. The captains would like to extend their thanks to those who turned up at this fixture at relatively short notice.

It was a beautifully sunny yet cold and windy start to the Great Bentley half marathon, a very popular race with Striders whether training for a marathon or not and 43 of us took part. The wind certainly made parts of the course more challenging!!

Polly Bridgman looked surprised to learn that she was 1st FV35 but this was due to the unique way the prizes are handed out!

With Mark Newton 1st, Gavin Allen 2nd and James Smith 4th the men took the 1st team prize, 1st male (Mark), 1st v40 (Gavin), and 3rd male open (James) – well at least I think this is right!

Sheila Macaulay smashed another record; her time of 2.03.07 means she holds the V65 half marathon record and now 4 out of the 7 categories – well done Sheila!

Catching up the previous weekend of XC…..and this was certainly a muddy and wet one due to rain during the preceeding days

The Southern XC championships took place on Saturday at Parliament Hill (Hampstead Heath); this event is huge and features some top flight club athletes taking part, as well as all levels of club runners. Springfield Striders were again represented by a hardy bunch of women and men; especially as this race is often very muddy and tough.

The ladies field was 501 strong and the course 8km long. First Strider lady home was Rebecca Pittman in 42.07 (281st) followed by Heather Eastwood. Next were Helen Bateman,  Kirsty Williams, Sharon Bannister, Elaine Tribley, and Karen Chapman. Out of 53 teams, the ladies were 49th. To put this in perspective the winning lady completed the course in 30 minutes.

The men had a harder job with 15km to run and a field of over 1000 runners; the winning man finished in 49 minutes. First male Strider was Sam Conforth in 1hr, 34 secs (242nd). Sam was followed by Stuart Raven , Tim Brockington, Mark Moughton and Steve Brame. Richard Rule started but had to pull out due to calf problems.

Striders held their Mid Essex league XC at Highwood on Sunday in chilly and wet conditions. It was great to see so many Striders running and marshalling. The ladies team were first as were the men; due to second claimer Malcolm Muir first and James Smith 2nd for the men and Sam Barnes-Bilbie and Polly Bridgman for the women. There are many photos and thanks on facebook, as well as a photo in last week's Weekly News!

And finally….Paul Bridges has done 5 marathons in the last 8 days, all of which he completed in sub 4 hours.