It was the 24th running of the Halstead and Essex Marathon on Sunday organised by Halstead Road Runners. The event also serves as the Essex Marathon Championships so is always popular even with runners who have competed in the London Marathon only weeks previous. The weather is usually notoriously hot. However, conditions were perfect this year following some overnight rain.

First to cross the line was Matt Spencer from Bungay Black Dog RC in a time of 2:40:46. He was followed by Stephen Peck from Harwich Road Runners in 2:44:20 and Chris Burgoyne from Springfield Striders in 3rd place in 2:45:11.

It was a great day for Springfield with Jackie Stretton breaking the female course record in 3:00:42. Rachel Sweatt from Witham Running Club, who is in superb form, was 2nd lady in 3:06:59. 3rd lady was Melissah Gibson from Ealing Eagles Running Club in 3:12:59.

For Halstead Road Runners there were some impressive new personal bests set and some medals. James Smith was 8th overall and 1st back for the club in 2:54:41 followed by Gavin Allen in 10th in 2:57:16. Allen claimed the Silver Essex County MV40 medal. Nathan Roulson, who has a long history of supporting the marathon both behind the scenes and on the road, cut 10 minutes of his previous best to finish in 3:14:37. This meant the 3 came away as Silver Essex County Male Team.

There were also County medals for Rachael Roughan who claimed Bronze FV35 in a new pb of 3:48:50 and club marathon legend Andy Wilmot who was Silver MV70 in a time of 4:20:46.
Other Halstead results were Tom Porter in 3:24:26. Next home was Steve May who knocked 14 minutes of his previous best to finish in 3:41:03 and was followed just seconds behind by Jon Greenley also recording a pb of 3:41:18.

Michael Longman, a Halstead marathon regular, crossed the line in 3:54:06. Cat Bennison finished in 4:07:42. Sam Wolton wasn’t far behind in 4:11:31 and Dan Cole, who unfortunately wasn’t feeling his best, in 4:35:04.

Rosie Atkins had an enjoyable race running with some ladies from Halstead Boxing Club and finished in 5:06:23.
There were 374 finishers and the club hopes to see many of them back next year for the 25th anniversary race which is sure to be something special. Thanks as always to Mayor Shirley Diver who handed out the medals.

In other results, Stewart Ellis took part in the second of the Tiptree Road Runners 5k Summer Series on Thursday night and finished 5th in a new pb of 17.36.
James Smith warmed up for Halstead Marathon by competing in the 3,000m at the Essex Track Championships in Chelmsford on Saturday receiving a silver County medal in the Masters Category in a time of 09:55.

Elsewhere on Sunday it was the Bury to Clare 18 mile trail race in aid of St Nicholas Hospice. Sandi Robinson Miller finished in 3:07:53 knocking 50 minutes off her 2016 time. Newish members Darren Powell (testing out his new club kit) and Nina Powell ran with their friend Natasha Rutherford and completed the race in 3:50. The Powells have their sights on the marathon distance next year.

Finally Treena Carder did the Colchester 10k in 53:53.