HARWICH Runner Rob Reason was among the 1,246 athletes in action at the Southend 10k.

Reason has clocked under 34 minutes for the distance previously but has had an injury-plagued year in 2017.

This race showed he is well on his way back to top form, however, with a 12th-place finish in a very high-quality field and a time of 35 minutes and six seconds.

Meanwhile, most of the rest of the club were over at Lawford for the annual winter five-mile handicap race.

Held a little earlier this year due to an upcoming congested calendar, 36 runners tested themselves on the flat country road course.

The overall winner was the runner who beat their predicted time by the biggest margin and it was no surprise to see Archie Barrington first home.

Having scored a personal best (PB) the day before at the Parkrun, Barrington sliced two minutes off his previous best time for five miles, finishing in 31m 44s.

The next placed finisher also secured a new personal best.

Kris Dalby completed the distance in 44m 6s, an incredible three-minute improvement.

Others to record new PBs were the in-form Anne Herbert (40m 51s), Valentina Burley (43m 58s), John Tiniakos (39m 56s) and Ian Bolton (39m 49s).

Both Ellie Haynes (37m 43s) and Niall Burke (37m 29s) recorded their best times for five miles while with the club.

The fastest times of the day were recorded by Graeme Knott, who posted a time consistent with previous runs on this course (28m 24s), and Steve Cooper, with his best five-mile time since 2013 (28m 51s).

Claudine Benstead was the fastest lady on the day.

Her time of 34m 16s was just 13 seconds ahead of second placed Kate Hodgkiss.

Other successes on a blustery day included Tony Anderson, who ran his fastest time for the distance since 2014, and an impressive debut five-mile race for Lee Allen, who will surely improve on his already impressive time of 32m 33s.

Alison Evans, Alison Manley and Kelly Peck were also running their first five-mile races since joining Harwich Runners.

At the 118th weekly Parkrun on Saturday, 118 people completed the course. Once again, Harwich Runners were at the front.

Gavin Race was first finisher in 17m 48s, his fastest time on the local course. The third-place finisher was Archie Barrington - his third PB in as many weeks - and a 17-second improvement saw him record 19m 15s.

First lady was once again Claudine Benstead in 20m 55s.

Second was Karen Stapleton in 22m 12s, just two seconds off her best.

Two club members who made big improvements this week were Jez Downs and Mike Ball.

Downs knocked 29 seconds off his best to finish in 22m 32s.

It was his third PB in four runs.

For Ball, it was his third PB in three weeks, knocking a minute off last week’s time to set a new PB of 22m 38s.

n Sunday morning saw two Harwich Runners take on the Clacton Triathlon, made up of a one-mile swim, 25-mile bike ride and 10k run.

Seasoned open water swimmer Claire Bransby, competing in her first standard distance triathlon, was one of the few competitors disappointed when the sea conditions were deemed too rough for the normal one-mile swim.

This was replaced with a 2.5km run and Bransby had a good run, bike and 10k run to finish a creditable third in the over-40 ladies' event.

Veteran triathlete Jeff Higgon finished with a comfortable first place in the men's over-60 category to round off a successful season with five age group wins.