It was the second fixture in the NESS cross country league hosted by Witham Running Club at Notley Country Park, always a popular local venue. Conditions were perfect for runners who had to scale Big Bird Hill initially from the back before heading out round field edges and then from the front before completing the loop again.

Halstead went into the fixture top of Pool B and had a fantastic turnout of 33 runners, about a third of the club’s membership! In the Junior Fun Run Josh Roughan was taking part for the first time. He finished 16th in the boys U11 category. Matilda Robinson-Miller was 11th in her age group (U13) with Martha May moving up the field from the previous week finishing 4th in the U11 girls category.

In the senior race for the men James Smith finished in 14th position with Ivan Filchev putting in a great sprint finish as the second scorer in 75th. Tom Porter then followed in 83rd position with Gavin Ripton just behind in 85th. Dan Hollinshead (96) and Steve May (117) completed the scoring team.

It was good to see Antony Denton (215) giving his spikes a try for the first time and to see Mike Grealy (164), Simon King (204) and Mick Purkiss (217) amongst the male contingent. The remaining men’s positions were:

Don English 119
Neil Poulter 136
Stuart Ashworth 140
Ian Chandler 157
John Warne 173
Sam Wolton 182
Andy Carter 185
Phil Jeffries 192
Darren Powell 197

For the ladies Rachael Roughan was consistent with the previous week’s finish position in 9th. Leigh-Anne Porter was pleased with her performance coming in as the second scorer in 40th with Wendy Carter in 48th completing the scoring team.

It was good to see some familiar female faces returning to cross country with Hazel Buist (77) and Mel Candler (79) gaining positions over rival clubs on the second lap. Lisa Clark made her cross country league debut in 68th. The remaining ladies’ positions were:

Caroliena Cameron 52
Sandi Robinson-Miller 59
Anna Bambridge 61
Sarah Frost 71
Lorraine Garnham 72
Val Kerrison 83
Nicole Smith 86
Nina Powell 90

The men finished 2nd and the ladies 3rd giving them an overall position of 3rd in Pool B on the day and 2nd in Pool B after 2 fixtures. The NESS league takes a break now for a couple of weeks with attention focusing on the Essex League next Saturday followed by our own trail Half Marathon and Marathon the Gosfield Gauntlet the week after.