The Cross Country seasoned kicked off on Saturday with Halstead Road Runners fielding full scoring men’s and ladies teams in their return to the Essex Cross Country League after a break of several years.

The Essex League is the biggest league which Essex clubs compete in and is used as a way of selecting runners to represent the county in both regional and national races.

The first fixture took place at One Tree Hill in Langdon Hills Country Park. The venue offered a long climbing hill which runners scaled twice as well as an uphill finish and it was typical cross country weather as it rained.

The ladies team consisted of Hazel Buist (47), Wendy Carter (63), Nicole Smith (67) and Sarah Frost (68) out of 97 female runners made a great start by finishing 2nd in Division Two (out of 8 teams). Sarah Frost marking her team debut with a fantastic gutsy performance.

The men’s team consisted of Richard Candler (68), Jim Clark (77), Steve May (107), Bob Langley (117), Andy Owen (121) and Ian Chander (148) out of 181 made runners. They placed 3rd in Division Two (out of 9 teams).

The next fixture in the Essex League is at Hylands Park on 29 October.