Sunday’s glorious sunshine shone on the Halstead & Essex Marathon. Now in its 22nd year this award winning race, organised by the Halstead Road Runners, saw over 600 athletes compete over a 26.2 mile course on the country roads surrounding Halstead. Sunday’s unseasonably high temperatures made the event a war of attrition rather than a chance to break records. Times were clearly effected in the men’s race, however Alan Smalls from Colchester Harriers finished 1st in an impressive time of 2:48:42. Smalls took the lead around 19 miles and didn’t look back as he took a commanding 3 minute lead over second place Pere Capdevila who finished in 2:51:06. Third place went to Denys Olefir who finished in 2:52:10. The woman’s title was claimed by Christine Howard from Billericay Striders who finished in 3:44:50.  Julie Holloway was second in 3:48:45 whilst Tracey English claimed third place in 3:52:29.

Closer to home Halstead’s Stuart Prestney was first home for the club in 3:35:43, Jon Buist was next in 3:51:08. Mike Grealy followed up his London Marathon performance 2 weeks ago to finish in 4:26:34, closely followed by Sam Wolton in 4:33:20.  Marathon legend Andy Wilmot finished in 4:38:44 whilst Dan Smith rounded off results in 5:09:48.