Saturday, August 18, 2018
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Easter Eggstravaganza

The Easter Eggstravaganza is a series of most enjoyable, usually muddy, trail races, hosted by four local clubs: Mid Essex Casuals, Little Baddow Ridge Runners, Grange Farm and Dunmow Runners and Springfield Striders., and held over the Easter weekend as the title would suggest…. A total of 319 people took part over the weekend with 74 striders participating in at least one of the EE races. 10 Striders completed all 4 races.

Day 1 was hosted by MEC at Aldham near Colchester and there was a choice of 12, 6.2 or 4 miles, although the 4 miles had “sold out” before some people arrived.

Charlie Harpur from MEC won the 12 mile with James Smith (Halstead), James Bosher (GFDR), Sean Ketteridge (CHAC) and Gavin Allen (Halstead) all posting the same time for 2nd. Highest places male Strider was Jon Byford as 7th man. The ladies 12 mile was won by Nikki Brockbank (SS).

The 4 mile was won by Richard Sirrett (SS) for the men and by 3 Halstead ladies for the women.

The 6.2 mile was won by two Halstead men with Striders’ highest placed being Tim Brockington in 5th. Shannon Mason (SS) was the winning lady at this distance.

However, there were 3 more trails to go and all to play for (well, we hope so!)

At Little Baddow on Saturday there was a choice of 2 distances; 11 or 5 miles and being Little Baddow, I would imagine this would be hilly and muddy….

The 11 mile male winners were James Bosher and James Smith posting an excellent 1.11.54 and Mark Newton was 3 seconds behind in 3rd. First lady was Nikki Brockbank with Melissa Dowell (CHAC) and Lyn Higgs (MEC) 2nd. Elaine Tribley was an excellently placed 4th.

The 5 mile was won by James Crisp (Witham), 2nd was Andy Ritchings (LBRR) and 3rd was Strider Tim Brockington. First lady was Sarah Colbert (SS).

Onto Sunday and a start from the Chequers pub next to Felsted School and a choice of 6.5 or 4.5 miles. Another cracking trail hosted by GFDR which included a knee high (for shorter people at least!) ford and lots of times (well, 3) over the old railway bridge.

For the 6.5 mile race yet again the winners were James Bosher and James Smith and this time they were joined as winners by Mark Newton. Next highest placed Striders were Jon Byford and Gary Wright. Yet again the ladies winner was Nikki Brockbank and next highest placed Strider ladies were Shannon Mason and Catherine Hull.

Richard Sirrett won the 4.5 mile race for the men with wife Mel 3rd for the women.

The final day at Great Waltham was hosted by Springfield Striders from the Rose and Crown, and had the highest turn out of the weekend with 180 runners. It must have been the chocolate egg at the end….

Anyway, there was no choice of distance at this one so it was 6.2 miles of mud and soggy ground – excellent! No change at the top as James Bosher won again but this time 2nd was taken by Sean Kerridge (or is it Ketteridge!) and Allen Smalls (CHAC). Highest placed male Strider was Mark Newton in 6th. Nikki Brockbank won the race for the ladies, and Catherine Hull a very respectable 3rd lady.

So, the overall winner was James Bosher of GFDR, with James Smith, recently transferred to Halstead 2nd and Mark Newton 3rd. It was nice to see a lot of guest runners from clubs not usually running local to Chelmsford.

For the ladies overall Nikki Brockbank triumphed with Lynn Higgs MEC 2nd and Shannon Mason of SS 3rd.

It’s not just about the winners though, it’s about the taking part and trail races are always a lot of fun, often muddy, sometimes wet, and people do sometimes get lost in the Essex countryside (but always find their way back….!). If you haven’t tried it, why not try it next time? Well done to all who ran and a big thank you to all the organisers.