Let me start by wishing everyone a happy new year of running , hopefully this year many more races will be open so we can all get outside and enjoy the sport
CROWN 2 CROWN
In the run up to Christmas not only did we have the Rudolph Run and our traditional Sunday Santa Hat Challenge, the famous Boxing day Crown 2 Crown was back for the first time in two years and it was an incredibly soggy affair, personally I cannot remember running this one in any worse conditions, heavy rain and fog persisted right up to the start of the race and if you like mud this was the one for you as there was plenty of it! including a mini river that had formed over one of the pathways at the bottom of the loop. If you haven’t tried this course before it’s basically a 5k down hill through woodland with a loop at the end and then a return back the way you started but its a gradual uphill experience with a full hill to finish which, as on this occasion, was very slippery so sliding down rather than going up is often the problem. First over the line for CPJ was Richard Bonham 21:31, Sarah Norton achieved a PB at 31:18 and Lynn Poulton who set herself a challenge to complete this run for the first time in honour of her dad who used to support this race over many years completed the run in 41:56.
Hanningfield Trail Marathon
Keith Nevett and Nick Gianotti took on this interesting narrative trail covering 26 miles during the festive period which is no easy undertaking. If you haven’t taken part in a narrative trail before they are well worth giving a try as there are no marshals guiding you the way it’s just you and a piece of paper with the instructions of the route and it’s down to you to find your way back, doing this on your own for the first time can be rather daunting especially as it’s helpful to know the abbreviations on the sheet but as a group or in pairs they can be great fun but I wouldn’t recommend 26 miles as your debut, if you go to the Essex Trail events website they have lots of information regarding these events and you get to see some great Essex countryside. The boys came over the line pretty much together and had great camaraderie throughout the day with lots of glorious mud and a few slip overs here and there but they made it through under 6 hours which we think its fantastic and they didn’t get lost, Keith is now looking for an Ultra Challenge! Also out on trails was John and Karen Sweeney with the Day After The Day After, lots of these trail runs have quirky titles such as “Chilli Nights” and Huffer Puffer” this was a more suitable 7 mile route which according to reports was quite heavily affected by the wind and described as fast out, slow back, if you fancy giving one of these a go follow the link here:https://essextrailevents.com/
LOS 10k ‘In The Dark’
When entries for the return of the Leigh On Sea 10k first became available I don’t think anybody thought about it being run in the dark, in fact right up to the date of the race it kept crossing my mind, why would I want to RACE in the dark? Even at the moment when the race was about to begin with everyone trying to huddle out of the breezy night time air I still had my doubts but to my surprise it turned out to be a very enjoyable experience and running in the dark with a sea of led lights created a real atmosphere to the event, one of which I have never experienced before, the route across Two Tree Island gave the course a cross country feel and back out on the road it felt more like the familiar event, the out and back through Old Leigh was enjoyable but not heavy on spectators which I found surprising with the course ending on Leigh Marina. The event was very well organised by Dean of Leigh Striders with friendly marshalling and Prosecco,mulled wine, sweeties, fruit and a £5 gift card from Run Active to finish, 22 CPJ’s took part in the race with Sir Richard Bonham being the first over the line for the club in 41:40 , see what some of the other club members thought!