The 2018/2019 cross country season kicked off with a double header weekend. Halstead fielded full teams at both fixtures which was a fantastic start.
The first fixture in the Essex League was hosted by Southend AC at Hockley in crisp, sunny conditions on an undulating course. The ladies raced first with Rachael Roughan leading the way for Halstead in 30th position. She was followed by Leigh-Anne Porter (63) finishing strong as the Road Runner’s second lady. Anna Bambridge (77) and Treena Carder (103) completed the scoring team. The ladies finished third in Division 2.
For the men James Smith was first back in 48th with Wes Atkins close behind in 66th. Tom Porter (101), Bob Langley (119), Stuart Ashworth (124) and Don English (138) completed the scoring team. The men finished second in Division 2.
On Sunday it was the first fixture in the newly titled North Essex and South Suffolk League (NESS) hosted by Springfield Striders at Writtle College. Martha May and Matilda Robinson-Miller competed in the U11 and U13 Junior races respectively. This was the first time competing in the league for both girls who showed natural form and gained positions in the final sprint to the finish. Martha finished 7th in the U11 category and Matilda 10th in the U13 category.
In the senior race James Smith led the way for Halstead again in 14th position. Wes Atkins, also racing for the second day in a row, finished strongly in 20th. Bradley Doe, making his return to cross country, finished in 50th with Gavin Ripton close behind in 53rd. Ivan Filchev (62) and Dan Hollinshead (68) also scored for Halstead. Steve May crossed the line in 80th with Andy Carter (130) pipping Sam Wolton (131) to the post. Darren Powell made his league debut in 166th position. The men finished first in Pool B which, when combined with the ladies score, leaves them at the top of the Pool B table.
Rachael Roughan secured a top 10 finish in 6th position. Anna Bambridge, again racing for the second day in a row, finished in 37th knocking 4 minutes off her time at the course last year. Sarah Frost had a fantastic run coming in just behind Anna in 38th to complete the scorers. Despite taking a tumble early on in the race Wendy Carter pressed on to finish 44th. Other results for the ladies were Sandi Robinson-Miller (53), Treena Carder (70), Nicole Smith (71), Val Kerrison (78), Lauren Hutley (93) and Nina Powell (96) who seemed to enjoy her cross country debut. The ladies finished third in Pool B.
Away from cross country Rosie Atkins returned to Snowdonia Marathon, her second marathon in as many weeks and a course she was unable to finish last year due to food poisoning. Rosie crossed the line in 4:36.
John Warne goes from strength to strength and was first in his age category at the Stort 30 in a time of 5:53.
Photos attached of our team at Writtle and the junior girls also at Writtle.