Article by Piers Meyler: Competitors from across the world – including one from South Africa – descended on Billericay for the 21st anniversary of the town's famous 10k race.

Nearly 600 runners turned out in good running conditions on a cold but sunny Sunday morning for this year's ever-popular Billericay Striders 10K Road Race.

Many of the county's elite athletes took part, and were joined by fun runners for the event, which started off from Hannakins Farm Community Centre.

With defending men's champion and course record holder Paul Whittaker unable to compete due to injury, first place was wide open, and was claimed by Ryan Prout of Chelmsford AC, who completed the course in a time of 32 minutes and 42 seconds. Ryan also won a £150 cash prize and a bottle of champagne.

Men's top 3

  1. Ryan Prout (1st place)
  2. Owen Cima (2nd place)
  3. Greg Falconer (3rd place)

Women's top 3

  1. Lindsey Colman (1st place)
  2. Kate Mills (2nd place)
  3. Hayley Pegg (3rd place)

billericay 10k race winners womens

In second place - for the second year running - was Owen Cima of Thrift Green Trotters (33 minutes, 45 seconds) and just behind in third place Greg Falconer (who came in in 33 minutes, 58 seconds).

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Billericay Striders members and race committee member Carolyn Brenchley"]It was a really great atmosphere. It was great running weather, you want it to be as cold and bright as possible. We have people from all over the world running it. We had one from South Africa. The messages on Facebook have said how well organised it was and how much people enjoyed it.[/quote]

In a closely-fought contest, Lindsey Colman of Southend on Sea AC (40 minutes and 4 seconds) took first place in the women's race, beating Kate Mills of Springfield Striders RC (40 minutes, 29 seconds), and Hayley Pegg of Chelmsford AC (41 minutes, 17 seconds).

The course is marked by a hill close to the start and a climb at the 8km point.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Carolyn"]There is a steep hill at the beginning and the end. It is not the easiest course but it is quite pretty when you go out to the fields to Ingatestone and Stock. It is really picturesque. It's quite an interesting course, not all boring roads.[/quote]

All results can be found at the race website 

Article by Piers Meyler, Essex Live

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