Last Sunday saw a cold day with blue skies, beautiful sunshine, very little wind – in other words perfect running weather for the 22nd running of the ever-popular Billericay Striders 10K Road Race.
Many of the county's elite athletes took part and were joined by Fun Runners alike. This year the race was sold out earlier than ever, back in September.
First place in the men’s race went to the course record holder, Paul Whittaker, who ran the race in an impressive 32:14 and earned himself £50 and a bottle of champagne. In second place was Tim Woulfe and in third James Bosher.
In first place in the women’s race was Alexa Joel, knocking an impressive two minutes off last year’s winning time and coming close to the course record. In second place, also scooping the V35 Women’s title, was Samantha Bilbie and in third Rachel Brown.
The Male Waitrose Youth Award for young runners under 21 years old was won for the second year in a row by Christian Gray of Basildon AC (41:40) and the Female award was won by Kiera Tippett (43:24), knocking a whopping 9 minutes off last year’s top time.
The club has already been overwhelmed with messages of thanks and compliments on social media re the excellent organisation of the race and the support given throughout by the marshals. In amongst all the comments was a note from the lady who came last, saying what a wonderful time she had and thanking everyone for their support and encouragement. There were photos of groups of people who were fairly new to running, delighted to complete their first or second 10k. The Striders are about inclusivity so that, as well as praising the winners, is what the race is all about! Everyone receives support, no matter what their ability. Race Director, Dave Sweet was full of praise for all the Billericay Striders Running Club members who made the event possible.
This year the race added a new sponsor: Ground Control of Billericay, to add to Fisher Jones Greenwood who have supported the race for the past couple of years. Some of the money raised will go to St Luke’s Hospice and some will be used to help the Striders fulfil their dream of building a running track around Hannakins which will be used extensively, especially by the juniors, in winter training evenings. Other sponsors were Essex Water and Runners World Chelmsford.
All results can be found at the race website www.striders10k.billericaystriders.com
Men's Top 3
1. Paul Whittaker 32:14
2. Tim Woulfe 34:21
3. James Bosher 34:40
Women's Top 3
1. Alexa Joel 37:52
2. Samantha Bilbie 38:59
3. Rachel Brown 39:36
40 - Andrew Low 36:25
50 - Dave Solomon 37:51
60 - Michael Harrier 41:21
70 - Robert Mansfield 51:27
35 Samantha Bilbie 38:59
45 Vanessa Mathers 46:56
55 Debbie Barry 52:26
65 Alison Applin 1:07:28
U21 Men - Christian Gray 41:40
U21 Women - Kiera Tippett 43:24
Overall team win Mens: Havering 90
Overall team win Women: Thrift Green