The 2019 race calendar got off to a start with the Essex Senior Cross Country Championships at Writtle College on Saturday. For the first time, in line with UK Athletics recommendations, men and women raced over the same distance of 10k instead of the previous practice of men running 12k and women 8k. As Essex is one of the first counties to introduce the new equal distance it made The Sunday Telegraph. The course offered fast and flat conditions taking on a different route to the one usually run at the venue.
Halstead had 9 ladies competing enough to field 2 teams. They were in prestigious company with elite middle distance athlete Jessica Judd taking the win. The first four to score for Halstead were Rachael Roughan (47), Wendy Carter (80), Anna Bambridge (84) and Sandi Robinson-Miller (87). Halstead ladies A finished in 15th position out of 27 teams. They were followed by Sarah Frost (91), Treena Carder (107), Nicole Smith (115) and Val Kerrison (128). Halstead ladies B finished in 24th position. Despite missing out on a team place Lauren Hutley (138) ran well to finish 6 minutes ahead of the target time she’d set herself for the race.
James Smith was first back for the men in 45th position with Wes Atkins having a storming run in 55th. Tom Porter moved up the field to the cheers of the spectating Halstead ladies in 155th. Don English (175), Gavin Ripton (176) pushing on despite a bad back and Phil Jeffries (208) completed the scoring team. The men finished 24th out of 31 teams.
Photos attached of the men’s and ladies teams