THE attendance at Saturday's Harwich Parkrun was down to 81 - the lowest since February.

However, this was probably due to the Wix five-mile race taking place on Sunday.

Despite being organisers of the Wix race, Harwich Runners still managed to occupy the first four finish positions in the Parkrun.

Simon Day returned to the bandstand first, in a time of 18 minutes and 36 seconds, and looks to be returning to his best.

Second home was young Archie Barrington, who finished in 19m 4s and achieved a new personal best (PB).

It was the fourth in a row for Barrington and he looks likely to be going under 19 minutes soon.

Third home was Mark Rutter, in 19m 34s, and he is another runner returning from injury.

The fourth finisher was Robin Brookes, in 20m 12s.

In total, Harwich Runners had six of the first ten finishers and of those three were juniors, hopefully indicating a bright future for the club.

The second lady home was Harwich Parkrun regular Claudine Benstead, in 21m 7s.

She was also one of those in the first ten finishers.

Club members achieving a personal best this week included Kim Pretty, who recorded a time of 24m 27s, knocking 16 seconds off his previous best and his fourth in five weeks.

Pretty has improved by over six minutes since 2016 and over 20 minutes since 2015.

Lian Meachen has recorded three PBs in a row and is now eight minutes quicker than the first time she ran at Harwich.

Sunday was a warm and breezy day but 340 runners from across the region turned out for the latest edition of the Wix five-mile race, organised by Harwich Runners.

Tim Woulfe, of Braintree, was third last year but claimed victory this time over a minute clear of his closest challenger in 27m 20s.

The fastest lady for the second year running was Elizabeth Davies, of Springfield, in 28m 35s.

Alongside all the organisers, helpers and marshals, the host club also managed to provide 47 runners.

The highest-placed among them, and showing a real return to form with his quickest time for the distance since 2013, was Steve Cooper, who placed fourth overall in 28m 41s.

He was also the winner of the MV40 category.

Also recording their best time in a number of years, since 2012 in fact, was Claire Bransby.

New recruit Alan Gardner was making his debut in a Harwich vest and ran well to post 38m 22s while a number of other runners recorded new personal best times.

Michael Ball improved four minutes from his previous best showing in Harwich colours (39m 24s) while Jez Downs ran under 40 minutes for the first time, recording 39m 11s.

There were big improvements also for Nicola Flatt, John Tiniakos, Kelly Peck, Alison Evans, Alison Manley and Andrew Thorn.

Benstead emerged victorious in the FV55 category, winning by almost three minutes, with Harwich duo Alison Evans and Anne Herbert also placing in the top five.

Elspeth Knott was a clear winner in the FV65 group and, in a surprisingly competitive MV70 group, Glyn Peck finished fourth in a good 46m 43s.