A HARDY bunch of Harwich Runners swapped tinsel and turkey for pounding the roads at the annual Witham Boxing Day five-mile race.

The race always attracts a good entry and this year 290 runners were on the start-line, including 11 from Harwich.

Conditions proved tough, with a block head-wind for the opening two miles and flooded roads on the undulating course.

Two of Harwich’s stars of 2012 brought their running year to a successful close.

Despite the testing conditions, both Mark Rutter and Richard Flutter came away with best-ever times.

Veteran Rutter has set a host of club age records this year and won county medals.

At Witham he was just short of another record, but the performance ranked among his best of the year.

A fine 13th-place finish in 29 minutes 43 seconds earned a clear age category win.

Harwich’s most prolific racer, Flutter, was on his third race in three days, having placed second over five kilometres in Waltham Abbey and jogged a five-kilometre race in Ipswich on Christmas Day.

There was no sign of tiredness from the Harwich racing machine, as he placed 31st in 31m 33s.

For the full story and pictures, see this week's Standard.