HARWICH Runners took part in the second race of the North Essex South Suffolk (NESS) cross country season, sponsored by Eyes Rite opticians, at Halstead.

The runners had to contend with some serious mud following the previous day's rain.

There were 192 in the men’s race and 117 in the ladies, run over an approximate five-mile course.

In the men’s race, the first runner from Harwich to finish was Graeme Knott in 15th place just ahead of Matthew Friend in 19th.

With the first eight from each team to finish collecting points for the overall score, Robin Brookes, Nick Lawrie, Gary Donoghue and Simon Day were in that group for the second time in two races.

Mark Higgs was amongst the scorers in his first race of the series and completing the scoring was Charlie McCarthy who remarkably finished in 81st place for the second successive race.

Good supporting runs from Chris Payne and William Roxby-Clarke helped the men’s team to finish fifth in Pool A.

There were also debut cross country runs for Ben Tovey and Matthew Pumfrey.

In the ladies race, Karen Stapleton was again the first home for Harwich finishing in 24th.

Nicola Challis was next in 32nd with Alison Evans and fast-improving Jodi Thomas also scoring points for the team.

Tracy Lawrie and Victoria McCrea helped the team by finishing high up in the field also. The ladies finished sixth but helped the overall team finish fifth.

In the Junior race, run over an approximate one-mile distance, Harwich was represented by six boys and nine girls.

Max Stapleton was eighth overall in the boy's race and second in the under-17 group.

Thomas Richardson ran in the under-15 category whilst Omar Jaballah and Jack Manley competed in the under-13 group.

Isaac Tovey and Lliam Peros ran in the under-11 category.

In the girl's race, Jemima Garner was the first Harwich runner to finish in 11th overall and sixth in the U11 group.

Daisy Ward was the only runner in her under-17 category and finished 16th overall out of the 51 girls.

Eleanor Newman was 14th overall and placed well in the U15 group where Molly Richardson also-ran.

Harwich also had five runners in the U11 category with Nancy Garner, Poppy Turner, Isabelle Race, Alliana Peros and Ruby Williams all going well.